Till eternity, concerned AFASites will continue to ask what essence the Council of Presidents and Secretaries (CPS) has in our Association. The Council, over the years, has defined itself as a frivolous, nonsensical, and weak structure of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students (AFAS) who can be said to have outlived its usefulness. Not too many people know about the existence of the Council until last session when they decided to controversially give themselves some sort of ill publicity. It was the hope of many that the new set of members that will make up the Council will be great individuals who will play an invaluable role in the development of the Association. But lo and behold, this present Council has been nothing but a disappointment as usual.
The main role given to the Council by the Constitution of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students (AFAS) is to serve as arbiters when there is any form of rift, between and among people in the Association. But we have witnessed cases of disagreements between students and lecturers where it was expected that the Council will rise and play its role, only for them to have given an iota of concern. Also, the Faculty Legislative Council had had impasses with the Executive Council at different points in time this session, yet, our unconcerned elders decided not to give a dime about the conflicts. To the surprise of all, when the Chairman of the Council was given the opportunity to talk on the floor of the House on Monday, 19th September, his words were not only incomprehensible; they were also nauseating to a sane human.
Most importantly, the Constitution bizarrely empowers them to put in place the Electoral Committee that will conduct election for candidates vying for different executive positions at AFAS. According to Article (41) (i) of AFAS reviewed Constitution, “the electoral committee shall be constituted and inaugurated by the Council of Presidents and Secretaries not later than the beginning of the fifth week of the second semester in consultation with the Staff Adviser.” This section of the Constitution which should be kept sacrosanct is not in any way respected by our presumed elders. If this particular section of the Constitution was not feasible, the alarm should have been raised while the Constitution was being reviewed.
Without mincing words, the CPS has been the author of every problem being witnessed in the Association over the years. Their inability to always carry out the task committed into their hands is by no way a delimitating factor to the Association. Constituting the electoral committee at the stipulated period will give in for healthy competition as candidates will have time to campaign extensively. Also, AFASites would be able to engage them intellectually, because by that time, there are no tests or exams approaching. This will enable people to concentrate and contribute greatly to the development of the Association.
In addition, a timely election will give in to timely hand-over. This will give the candidates-elect the avenue to plan beforehand and draw a durable map through which their tenure will navigate for the session. But all these great happenings have been denied the Association just for the sole reason of the lack of seriousness of the persons involved. Even with the delay in constituting the members, some presidents will still find it difficult in getting a member to represent them at the Committee. It is of little wonder that those who are struggling to keep their departments as a united body are considered as experts at higher level. Till now, some presidents have no record of any achievement at their constituencies, save successful forceful collection of dues.
If AFAS will get out of the conventional mess that do come with every administration, we have to get it right at the inception and not about leaving the crucial aspects to suffer just because of some people’s lackadaisical and incompetent attitude. While they should be thinking of how to make the meagre resources work well for the Association, they also decided to present budget before the House. If I may ask, what for? How many of you can spare money for relevant organs at the departmental level, let alone frivolous ones like the Council? The session will soon go to an end and yet, the Council is also looking for ways to get their share of the national cake. Why not emulate the Press by deciding not to receive any allocation from the Association’s purse? Of all the duties specified by the Constitution as regards to the Council, which one demands money to be carried out? Oooh, you need to buy airtime to call other members to meeting; forward thinking elders are not always reminded of developmental meetings!
With all these maladies and incompetence alluded to our dear Council, where lies its essence? When will they rise to their responsibilities?
I am GRAVEYARD, the final destination of all men!