We Have Sustained The Fire, But It is Time To Pass On The Torch

I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles, but today it means getting along with people.” —Mahatma Gandhi


It’s been over ten months, but finally, I can say my race is over. In April 2023, John Dare Okafor handed over the editor-in-chief position to me after doing a marvelous job in moving the organization forward. At the time, it seemed like leading an organization as big as Indy Press would be an impossible task, but after thinking hard about it, I decided to accept the position.

To begin with, coming into the University of Ibadan in 2019, I just wanted to kickstart my career in broadcast journalism and do a bit of politics. I spoke to my floor representatives at the time, Hon. Wale (Killmonger), and linked me up with Williams Owoeye, who then connected me to John Dare Okafor, who was managing editor at the time.

It was at the interview that I found out that I’d have to part ways with my political ambitions and focus on journalism. Well, I didn’t need much time to decide, as I chose journalism without wasting time. That decision has paid off, and after serving in the previous two editorial boards, I became E–in-C.

Sounds like a fairytale story right? But it’s not exactly so. Being a member of the press in the Great Independence Hall demands a lot of commitment and occasionally, sacrifice. Then as the E-in-C, you get to play a totally different role, and as John said when he was handing me the baton, “the E-in-C role doesn’t exactly need your editorial skills, what is really important is your administrative skills.”

15 publications later, that statement has become clearly apt. However, it is time to pass the mantle on. It was a tough race, as there were hitches on the way, but there were always ways to go around those challenges.

Thankfully, I had one of the best support casts. Great thanks to the outgoing deputy editor-in-chief Habeeb Abdul, who was always reliable. Also, big-ups to the editorial board, as their co-operation and commitment was key.

This article serves as a brief summary of what we have done this session, our wins, things we could have done better, and the standard we want to get to in the future.

What We Achieved This Session

Kudos to my predecessors for the work they did, laying the foundation for everything we have done. As usual, Indy Press is known for covering only the issues that matter to the University of Ibadan community.

This session, we exploited various issues as they affect UI students. We went into the lives of UI students living off-campus. There has been a big problem with insecurity in areas like Agbowo, Barika, and the likes. and so, our features editor Tolulope Ayeye brought those issues as they affect Uites into the limelight.

Also, we explored life after graduation, talking to recent graduates to get an idea of their struggles after leaving the university. It was quite an interesting one, as it was quite detailed.

We didn’t stop there though. We also went into the lives of creatives in UI – The artists, the comedians, and skit makers. Meanwhile, we have kept to the tradition of holding political office holders, fulfilling our role as the fourth estate.

Also, we worked on price regulation on campus and additional charges from traders. Our work yielded fruits to a certain degree, as these issues were treated and UI students were the better for it.

While our is not entirely done, as the weeks go by, we promise to review the Students’ Union and assess the performances of the members of the Executive Council.

Meanwhile, one of the things that my deputy brought to help our articles go farther and make our stories more appealing was the launch of The Weekly- Indy Press’ newsletter. It is already showing promise, as we have close to 200 subscribers already, and we hope to multiply this number substantially in the coming weeks. As it stands, Indy Press is the only Press organization that has a working newsletter system.

Also, Indy Press won the inaugural edition of the Francis Egbokhare debate competition. We were ably represented by the quartet of John Eriomala, Ajadi Sodiq, Ayeye Toluwalope, and Ogunleye Moboluwarin.

It Hasn’t All Been Uhuru For Us…

Have we struggled? Yes. Of course, the road has been rough, and It has been a tough session for us. Seven of our best writers graduated last session, meaning that we had to start searching for new members. Thankfully, the new guys on the team have turned up and delivered.

Two of them- Peter Sonaike, and Nnamdi Maduabuchi were among the five nominees for the best inductees award during the last UCJ Induction.

Nonetheless, they have shown great promise, alongside our other new entrants, and we believe they will do big things in journalism as they progress in the University of Ibadan.

Meanwhile, apologies to our ardent readers and followers. The sight of individuals standing in front of our board to read our latest publications has been really scarce this session- and that is something we really miss. That was because of some in-house issues and our partially faulty board. However, we already have plans in place to make that a thing of the past. We have made moves to renovate our board and that should be fixed during the break.

Also, we lost one of our past editor-in-chiefs Odekunle Ayokunle this session- a big loss for the entire Indy Press family. Despite leaving Indy Press 13 years ago, Oddy was still committed to the cause, regularly supported Indy Press with donations and made himself readily accessible. To show our respect, we alongside the UCJ and the Law Press organization visited his family.

Moving Forward…

Soldiers come, soldiers go as it is usually said. The current editorial board has served its time, and it is now time for the next board to take over. Indy Press has maintained its standards over the years, stamping its authority as the premier Press organization on campus, and that will not change anytime soon.

We will not get wary or slow down on our duty as the fourth estate. And of course, we will continue to write the stories that matter to University of Ibadan students- the new editorial board will make sure of this.

Like we stated earlier board publications will return to ensure our stories will reach a wider audience.

What Indy Press has achieved this session and over the years is testament to the fact that commitment and competence are two important ingredients to success. This is engraved in the heart of every member, and as the current board drops the mantle, we believe that the fire will continue burning.

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