Samuel Akindele Ajala: An inspiration to campus journalists

The story of Samuel Akindele Ajala, a 400 Level student of this university from History and International Studies department is not only inspiring to the organisers of the 2020 Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD), who have singled him out along with 16 others from 570 people for special roles at the coming Conference, it is a huge excitement  to many of us who believed in campus journalism, established and nurtured it since 1988 at the University of Ibadan.

Ajala is currently the Public Relations Officer of the National Union of Campus Journalists (NUCJ), a body that came into being for the first time in universities campus media landscape in 1989 at the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), when it was then known as National Association of Campus Journalists (NACJ).

UCJ started in Nigeria campuses when the likes of Bayo Ajala, (now Dr Bayo Ajala at the Nigeria Social and Economic Research Institute and member of Governing Council of the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC); Bode Ojomu ( who later joined students union and now practices politics); Laolu Akande (Special Adviser to the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo); Yours truly, Yinka Ademuyiwa (FUOYE’s Deputy Director, Corporate Services); Festus Owete, Abuja based journalist; Sefiu Kayode Olaniyan (Nigeria Deputy Ambassador to Cameroon) Bayo Oladejo, (Abuja based management consultant ) and many more,  came together in 1988 to form a club that will  be “a club for journalists clubs” .

Few months later, journalists at Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) started their own UCJ and when they discovered that UI had gone ahead, formed National Association of Campus Journalists (NACJ) which was embraced by very few universities then, because you cannot function at National level without a virile UCJ at campus level. NACJ has now turned to NUCJ and the subject of this discourse is its current PRO, Mr Samuel Akindele Ajala who has seized the opportunity of the platform of campus journalism in FUOYE to actualize one of his personal goal and aspiration.

The German government will few weeks from now host some very influential world leaders to its annual inspiring dialogue, BETD, which has become the leading international forum on green energy transformation. Every year, high level participants from politics, industry, science, and civil society gather in the popular German city of Berlin to discuss the shift to sustainable energy system. That is the high profile meeting that hitherto little known Ajala has been invited, all expenses paid!

What’s more, he will join the discussions on Geopolitics, Green Finance, Market Designs for renewable, Carbon Pricing etc and will be expected during the Conference and immediately after, as a journalist from Nigeria, report on the Conference sessions through social media channels especially Twitter videos clips, interviews and report on energy related stories from Nigeria to a global audience. What an opportunity for a growing mind!

As if these are not enough, Samuel’s work along with the other 16 campus journalists selected globally, and his contributions to the Dialogue are of high value to meeting the Paris Climate Agreement targets.

Samuel has no one pulling any string for him in Germany. He simply responded to a public invitation from Germany officials requesting for his CV, essays on any topic of his choice of about 250-300 words in length and writing samples. 570 people responded and he came tops, presenting an inspiring FUOYE story from the clan of campus journalists, and of course his department, the Department of History and International Studies.

The founding fathers of UCJ which built of the platform of several independent Press Clubs on Nigerian campuses will be grateful to the type to Samuel for living the vision. Daniel Whyte, FUOYE’s immediate past UCJ President, who got similar fellowship to United Kingdom last year will look back from his National Youth Corp Service (NYSC) base, satisfied that people exist to carry on the flag.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof Kayode Soremekun, himself a literary giant in the nation’s landscape, could not hide his joy. FUOYE is working, no matter what detractors are singing.

That is why the likes of Folakemi Olaniyan, Adeyeye Ayomide, Olumodeji Samson, Opeyemi Fakorode, Comfort and Busayo who used the same UCJ platform of FUOYE in collaboration with an obscure online news medium www.operanewsapp.com to publish embarrassing, untrue, disgusting and indecent story about this university need to be careful.

That story is not only unprofessional, it is skewed. It is an advocacy story from a group of disgruntled elements on this campus. Discredited union leaders who have a course to fight, some of whom are already going out of the system should not drag innocent children just coming up to give their academic career a good foundation with them.  A word is enough……..