By: Kelvin Omachonu
Over the years, the Independence Hall gym has served as a confluence point for fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders inside and outside the Hall. It is not an uncommon sight to see a sizeable number of people lifting dumbbells at the back of the Indy Hall Cafeteria. However, even the least observant person can tell that this has reduced considerably; the once lively site of brotherly camaraderie has lost its life. The reason is not entirely far-fetched; the gym has not been functional in weeks.
By Gym rules, users have to pay a sum of #2000 before they can access the facility. However, there have been a lot of complaints recently from gym user, the prominent among which is the inability to access the facility as much as they would want to. In fact, at the time of this article, the gym had not been open for at least a week, and that has been the situation for most parts of the session.
A Back Story: Why Gym Users Prefer to Use the Gym at Zik Hall
To gain access to the gym, you are required to pay a total sum of #2000. However, in Independence Hall, the compliance level has always been low. To curb this, in the first semester, the Administrator General(AG) charged the registered users with the responsibility of keeping gatecrashers out. According to him, the gym would be locked if registered users let people who did not pay access to the facility.
Ignoring the issues inherent to this approach, the made good on his words; he locked up the gym after he discovered unregistered users using the facilities. With this development, even those who paid did not have access to use the facility. The gym remained locked until early in the current semester when it was opened.
One of the registered users, Komolafe Olaoluwa, lamented that it is usually locked, and getting access could be a tough task. “I paid #2,000 last semester, but using the gym is war. I always check from my room if the door is open in the morning and in the evening, but it is always locked. In fact, some of the guys that paid in Indy have gone to Zik to pay for their gym there.” Olaoluwa lamented.
Prince, a Katangite and another registered also shared his frustration. “I really don’t know what is wrong with those guys. They gave the key to a guy called Anomalous, but we have not been seeing him. These EXCOs don’t run this thing well, they put the gym in Dami’s( Sports Secretary), but most of the time, he is not around. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I decided to register at Zik.
On the registration imbroglio, he referenced Zik and explained the method of remitting the fee at the Zik Hall Gym as something the Hall could have emulated. “At Zik gym, they gave us two weeks’ grace, and after that, the Zik Mr. Macho would come to chase defaulters out. I don’t see why I would pay for a service and still be the one ensuring that what I’m getting is good enough.” He explained further
According to the AG, only four people have paid for the gym. To substantiate this, the Adminstrator Generla provided the reciepts of payments. However, according to Jethro, whom the Executive has charged with overseeing the Gym, Jethro, said that 11 people had paid for the gym. According to Jethro, other people paid to another person that he identified as “Dynamic”. Jethro further explained that Dynamic canged some of the equipment in the Gym with the money he recieved.
“Some people paid to me while some paid to Dynamic, Mr. Macho is supposed to be in charge of the gym but has not been around. Dynamic is always at the gym, so he collected money from users. The excos knew that Dynamic was collecting money, and I wrote down the names of people that even paid. Eleven people paid, but five or six paid to Dynamic. He used the money he collected to change some things in the gym.” Jethro explained further.
Who are those to be in Charge?
In previous sessions, the Independence Hall gym had a system where the Defense Commissioner or Mr. Macho of the hall would be in charge of the facility. However, during this session, Mr. Macho has been unavailable due to his academic demands as a medical student. The attempt to designate an individual to oversee the hall has caused misunderstanding among the relevant stakeholders in the past.
When Indy Press Organization reached out to the Sports Secretary, he alluded to the fact that he heard about someone remitting a registration fee, but he did not know the person. “There was a guy collecting money from people, but I don’t know the person. We were not even aware that someone was collecting money from people. I am also not aware that he bought anything in the gym.” He explained
What happens to people who paid Dynamic?
The Adminstrator General, the Defense Commissioner and the Financial Secretary all insisted that there is a procedure for payment, and that payment outside the process is not recognized. According to the AG, only those who paid directly to the hall’s account would be allowed to use the gym.
The Defence commissioner and Financial Secretary revealed that a BC was shared stating the proper way to register for the gym last session, and the direction for registration was also printed and pasted on the wall of the gym. As such there was no reason for anyone to pay anyone other than the hall’s account.