‘Why Unilorin cancelled Guinness World Record hackathon’

The coronavirus pandemic has led to the cancelation of a Guinness World Record programme at the University of Ilorin (Unilorin).

The Guinness World Record Hackathon innovation on renewable energy to feature 5,000 students across Kwara state participating in a technology training was scheduled to hold March 21 but had to be postponed till further notice in deference to the federal government’s directive to observe social distancing as a measure to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Explaining the cancellation, director of Unilorin Renewable Energy Centre (UREC), Professor Joshua Olaoye, said, “To gather 5,000 students in a single venue negates the current Federal Government of Nigeria campaign against public gathering of more than 50 people”.

“Information gathered from our foreign partners and their government agencies, Guinness World Record (GWR), Hackathon TechChallenge and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had clearly indicated that gathering of 50 or more people should be cancelled for eight weeks.

“Against these aforementioned issues, UREC, therefore, wishes to announce the indefinite postponement of our programme, World Record project and Hackathon TechChallenge, tagged: Kwara-UNILORIN Innovation Hackathon,” he said.

Meanwhile for the first time in over 20 years, students of Unilorin are feeling the pains of strikes by their lecturers – Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Until the ongoing strike declared by ASUU, they had never been a part of ASUU strike since the university management proscribed the union about 20 years ago.

About two decades ago, Unilorin sacked 49 members of ASUU for joining a strike declared by the union. The management went further to proscribe the union, a development that polarised the body. While ASUU left the university to pursue its case on behalf of its sacked colleagues, a splinter union in the guise of ASUU-Unilorin, continued to superintend the affairs of the union. The face-off dragged on until last year when the institution re-joined ASUU.

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