Let us not joke with our lives on the pretence that ban on politics has not been lifted in AFAS. We already, very many thanks to the different WhatsApp groups and the adverts coming from Facebook, banners and bills, know two major contenders eyeing the presidency of the Association – Sola Gabriel Ojikutu (with the baggage of Progressive AFAS) and Ajimati Purpose Toluwalase with the eponymous team tag of Purpose ’17. We are not shutting our eyes to the emergence of any other candidates. But with the two, I am already contended.
To begin with, Sola Ojikutu has been my classmate for the past two years. His first essay in student politics began when he made his intention known to our class that he would be interested in representing us at the Faculty Legislative Council (FLC). Prior to that, nobody especially myself, has not looked Sola with politricking. He was to us simply Sola the poet, Sola the grammarian and Sola the business man. And since my class was a sort of apolitical, no one contested the position with him since many who were intensely political like yours sincerely had and have been short-changed by the law which says pressmen cannot partake in campus politics.
Sola’s initial contribution to the previous assembly of FLC was comical at best as he was most noted for his bullying of co-honourable members of the House with bombastic and high sounding words. His most significant contribution to the assembly, it seems, was his motion for the impeachment of the then Speaker of the House, David Okanlawon, whom he had previously described as “a man who escaped dwarfism”.
His super active involvement in the political scheming that brought Adeoye Adejare to the presidency of AFAS has been variously described by many as politically suicidal. Worse still for the man from the Department of English, with the seemingly unimpressive running of the administration (Adejare’s), the only team tag he could think of was Further AFAS (that is, furthering the agenda of Adeoye Adejare led AFAS). When he was told the tag was associated with a particular failure in his Hall (Zik), he changed it to Progress AFAS. His choice of the team tags only foregrounds his clinging to the Adejare led AFAS. His chances at the election therefore will be heavily dependent on the disposition of AFASites to the incumbent.
Naturally, I have soft spot for female aspirants especially when such an aspirant faces a competition from the other sex. Purpose has her major backer in Kolapo Lawal, the current General Secretary of the Association. For those who have eyes to see, Kolapo has introduced a great level of sanity to the way the AFAS office is run. a familiar face to the AFAS office of Emeka and even Afo will testify to the abuse the office suffer from every Ade, Umar and Chukwu from every part of the University and beyond in those dark days. But beyond the politics of godfatherism lies the genuine fear of having lost so many grounds. Purpose is a 300 level doubles honours student with Linguistics her major course and European studies (French) her minor course. Should Purpose be that ambitious to explore such a means…
She can even bank on her being a female as an emotive form of appeal to the electorate. But again, evidence from history and experiences has shown that many a female voter very much prefers a male candidate to female. Meanwhile, UItes do not vote based on gender but on the popularity of the candidates and their programmes as statistics released by Facts Count shows.
To conclude, we anticipate a fierce contest for the presidency of our dear Association of Faculty of Arts Students even as we foresee a two-horse race. It should not even be out of place to expect bickering in the AFAS Executive Council as the President and the General Secretary represent the two extremes of the two power blocs scheming to produce the next president for the Association. Will it not be interesting to see politics cause intense face-off in the administration that has been progressing in a low key manner? I personally look forward to seeing Kolapo revealing the very many hidden agenda of the team dynamism as a way of damaging the personality of the president’s candidate while I also anticipate scheming from the President to silence or sideline his General Secretary. It may not be inapt to even see shenanigans to oust the General Secretary through the impeachment process. Unfortunately for the progress team and fortunately for the purpose team, the Speaker of the House is a die-hard fan of the General Secretary. In all, we are patient but active on-lookers to the burning politricking that is meant to engulf the Association if not the entire Faculty in the coming weeks.