By: Aduwo Ayodele
The leadership of the University of Ibadan Students’ Union has on Thursday, February 1, 2024 paid a visit to the resting site of Kunle Adepeju, a memorial graveyard situated at St. Annes Memorial Garden.
The group of students leaders, which was led by the Students’ Union President, Samuel Samson Tobiloba, converged at the site in memory of the uneventful death of Kunle Adepeju, who was a victim of stray bullet, in a demonstration which ensued on February 1, 1971.
Among the team who visited the graveyard site were the principal officers of the Students’ Representative Council, representative of Faculty Presidents, representative of Hall Chairs, as well few immediate past leaders of the Students’ Union.
The procession at the site, which began with solemn a prayer was followed by a minute silence, and then remarks by student leaders present.
In his brief exaltation, a priest, Mr. Sonibare Oyetunji noted that it was appointed for man to die, but should be conscious of what the end will be.
Speaking at the site, the Speaker of the Students’ Representative Council, Omotunde Olamide stated, “We gather to celebrate the life and the significance of death of our own, Kunle Adepeju. And not just his death, but also other student martyrs. This remembrance is a reminder to everyone here, as students’ leaders of the purpose of our position and to prioritise Students’ Welfarism at all times. To take the welfare of the students’ who elected us to position as our top priority.”
“For over 40 years since his death, it’s quite sad that most of the issues that were being protested for then, are the same issues we have now. Nonetheless, we should not relent in our fight for students,” he added.
Speaking to Indy Press, the 70th Chairman of the Kenneth Mellanby Hall of Residence, Olanbanji Olaniyan noted that Kunle Adepeju’s death restates the fundamental role of leadership at every point.
“We are gathered here to mark the anniversary of the death of Kunle Adepuju. His death serves as a reminder on the primary purpose of any government or leadership — welfare of students. No matter what you claim to do or have achieved the primary purpose is welfare,” Olaniyan said.
“Kunle died while trying to help an injured student during a peaceful demonstration. This shows that he was a good man who was just unlucky. We must not relent in defending the interest of our students and promoting their welfare. That is the only way to honor his death.” Olubanji added.