We never fail when we try to do our duty, we only fail when we neglect to do it- Robert Baden Powell
Recently, the Council of Presidents and Secretaries (CPS) of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students was asked by the Faculty Legislative Council to stop the process of inaugurating the Independent Electoral Committee of the faculty because they failed to meet up with the provision of the constitution. Chapter 8, Article 41, (i) of the AFAS Constitution states that “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”.
The CPS was to inaugurate the electoral committee who according to the AFAS constitution will “”fix the fee for nomination forms, process returned nomination forms and clear aspirants, fix date for and supervise the presentation of manifestoes, draft rules and regulations for the conduct of free and fair election without prejudice to any provision(s) of the constitution, fix the date for and supervise elections, count and announce result of votes, present the executives elect for swearing to the Dean or his representative”. In other words, the CPS was handed the power to inaugurate a body that will play a vital role in taking AFAS to the next level because we all know that there would be no continuity in a system if a government is ready to leave and the is no other to take over.
The CPS members are our leaders at the departmental level but with their actions, they have only succeeded in proving to us that they are not worthy of such title by their inability to inaugurate an electoral committee even at the 8th week of second semester. Also, we must point out that, the AFAS constitution states that “Election shall be held not later than the end of tenth week of the second semester ” but if our CPS member were finding it difficult to inaugurate a committee at the 8th week of the semester, how feasible is an election at tenth week? Or perhaps they want a continuity of the Adeoye- led administration.
Their action is not just a sign of negligence but that of gross irresponsibility because the AFAS constitution accorded them a huge responsibility to perform. We can only but mourn for our great faculty and country because even the people we look up to as our leaders do not really know what it means to be a public servant. It is expected that when a person amount himself to a particular thing by putting it down in writing or by saying it, he will be committed to honouring it, not necessarily because he wants to, but he will do it because of the “image” he seeks to protect. Do we then say that our presidents and secretaries do not have any self-image they seek to protect; of course, everyone wants to protect his image and no matter how poor a person is, he will strive in every way to protect his name because it is well understood that a good name is better than riches. Perhaps, the reverse is the case when it comes to the CPS, to them, riches is better than a good name. Many of them do not come into public service because of what they want to change, many of them are just on the quest for ways to make their pockets dance even when there are claims of no money in the country.
Also, it is only hilarious that the CPS asked to be given plaques worth #6000 each and we cannot but marvel; do people graduate when they do not write exams? Or are plaques representations for failure? It is so pathetic that many people have lost their integrity. We have people who have failed and yet are not remorseful about it. They still carry their shoulders high and even seek to be appreciated.
When the council chairman was asked why they haven’t inaugurated an electoral committee at the FLC sitting, he gave excuses like the free Mote issue; late resumption of presidents and secretaries and departments refusal to respond to letters sent. However, in our findings, we were told by a member of the CPS that they do have meetings but not has frequently has they should and in fact, many of them do not even attend meetings.
However, the Faculty Legislative Council should be appreciated for taking the initiative to resolve that CPS should stop the process of inaugurating because even if they are given ten decades, we doubt if they will have anything to show. The action of the FLC shows that they have the interest of the faculty at heart and the immediate creation of an Independent Electoral Committee is a stinging rebuke to the CPS because what our presidents and secretaries could not do for about eight weeks was done within one week. The Electoral Committee has been inaugurated and election will now take place in November all because of the negligence of the CPS.
Their refusal to create a committee at the appropriate time has made the new electoral committee to shift election to November. The electoral committee had to move the election next month because forms for some offices have not been purchased. If the CPS had inaugurated an electoral committee at the stipulated time, we would have had our election and we would be congratulating our new leaders now.
We can only hope our presidents and secretaries have a change of attitude towards pertinent issues that concerns the future of the Association. If leaders are so use to neglecting their duties, what do they expect their followers to imbibe? There is need for a change of attitude because whatever we do in the University of Ibadan do not end here but has a way of creeping into our future. People will always recall and it is interesting to note that, it is now on record that the CPS 2015/2016 failed the faculty.