by​ Tobi Idowu

Friday, November 4th was a memorable one in the Association of Faculty of Arts Students; and that is all thanks to all stakeholders in the premier Association. 

Election had always been held in AFAS, but that which was held on that worth-remembering Friday was different. Much was at stake for the contestants, much more for the Presidential aspirants; none however gave a disappointing outing at the poll judging by the results the aspirants polled. On this note, I will say, kudos to all who braved their necks and came out as aspirants for the various posts available to contest in the Association; and, bigger kudos to all winners. Congratulations to the soon to be garlanded AFAS number one member: Ojijutu Shola Gabriel, the next AFAS president-in-queue.

Meanwhile, the euphoria of the election’s win will soon peter out. The various winners in the election will soon be knocked back to reality. It will soon dawn on them that winning is just a small leap into the mazy bends of leadership. The roads to delivering their promises will soon show their ‘real faces’ as bumpy, rough roads. AFASites are impatient. Soon you will find out. And to our elected executive members, never make the mistakes of thinking your many honeyed-coated words you used to ‘toast’ AFASites to vote for you will not be used against you. Just ask the outgoing executive members.

First, now is the time to begin to articulate your programmes. Yes, your time starts next session, but in reality, it started as soon as you were declared winners of the election. To wait till next session before you begin to dot your I’s and cross your T’s is to prepare for yourself a difficult mess you may never be able to get out from. People will then begin to wonder, why did they ask us to vote for them when they actually lacked any plan whatsoever? Buhari’s government has not been able to get out from this ‘cluelessness’ bog. To avoid being bogged down by unnecessarily necessary questions, you need to start answering your tenure’s questions now. Progress is a long gradual process. To begin now will be wholesomely beneficial to all.

More so, the soonest the various members of the elected executive begin to bond; the better it will be for them and AFAS. It is sheer ignorance to think these fellow students that will soon become our leaders in the Association knew they would all be in the executive cabinet together before, and even during the election. There is no such thing as a party system in student politics in University of Ibadan, so the idea of team this, team that, that the executive members usually adopt once they are disparately elected is just for convenience sake. In most cases, it is usually found that the various differences that members of the executive have with one another affect their collective and individual performance. And one or two members become sidelined. It has happened too in our AFAS. Mr. Shola Ojikutu has a big job to do to make sure all differences are effectively managed, and that everybody’s discrete strength is masterfully assimilated into a common strength for his cabinet. The ultimate fact has not been faulted: all buck stops at the President’s table.

Furthermore, an administration that is effectively miserly in giving out information about its programmes will have its progress impeded remarkably. AFASites must be fed with information and updates at all times. It will do your administration no good if you allow people’s perception of it to be shaped by hearsays and conjectures. One of the problems the Adeoye’s administration created for itself was its information-shy template it was run with.  Is not ironic that an administration that erected an information board gave little or no information? It is not when people have sufficiently formed their opinions on you that you begin to tell them relevant things about you. The Director of Information has got a simple, but requiring-wisdom, task to adequately inform AFASites as and when due. And, please let the notice board be noticed for good.

Also, Mr. Ojikutu must be told that he needs to start devising plans to concretize all his doing ‘tradition untraditionally’ promises as soon as possible. It is one thing to be linguistically savvy; it is another to turn words to actions. Traditional activities and programmes in AFAS need not so much radical overhauling to make them appealing and remarkable to AFASites. The simple task is not to complicate the process of organizing them. Programmes like Freshers’ Orientation programme, AFAS and I et al are expected programmes that can be superbly organised without unnecessary wastage in human energies and AFASites’ money.

In conclusion, the newly elected executive members need to get everybody on board. All AFASites are stakeholders. They must be made to believe that they hold stakes in AFAS’ affairs. The nauseating issue of a privileged enclave, otherwise called cabal, must be dispensed with. Every AFASite has one or two things to offer the Association which will progress it. To relegate them will be unfortunate. And it will be too bad if the tune that will be sung in few months’ time is a disappointing one. The rough road ahead can be straightened if the incoming administration wisely threads its lanes.

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