The most unfortunate phenomenon in our lives is to be surrounded by the people who only see profiteering in our ambitions.
It is unfortunate because the ambition is automatically stifled when there is no immediate gain for the profiteers. Such almost killed the destiny of Joseph, the dreamer. His brothers, thinking that there was nothing in stock for them if Joseph their brother accomplished his dreams, sought to kill him and consequently kill his ambition. Is that not even the bane of our society? Africa as a continent has been afflicted with dream killers as exemplified in the killings of many a great son of Africa who showed genuine commitment towards lifting the continent from the shackles of retardation. Examples abound in Thomas Sankara, Patrice Lumumba, and the example closer to us, Obafemi Awolowo. Enough of the distraction, we are concerned with the AFAS and her ‘stakeholders’.
We dare not gainsay the goodwill with which the leadership of the Association of Faculty of Arts’ Students organised the endorsement powwow. It is laudable that the Association is concerned with reality of the ambitions of some of her members and she is taking the bull by the horn to bring the ambition to fruition. We see it as a noble idea that Shola Ojikutu led administration is making a determined effort to ensure that an AFASite emerge as the president of the Union. However, we see unnecessary distraction in the calling of a stakeholders’ meeting which revealed more of the uncouthness of some of the so-called stakeholders.
Many a so called stakeholder at the meeting already had partisan interest in the endorsement even before the meeting was called. What therefore was the rationale behind asking the aspirants present their plans to AFASites at the gathering? We hold that the endorsement does not reflect the general opinion of AFASites as many among the stakeholders are not representative enough of their supposed constituencies. One certain honourable member of FLC representing one of the premier departments in the faculty for instance cannot be said to embody the views of students of the department. We mean that certain individual who is impetuous, impudent and improvident with uncouth mouth. There are many others who are just loutish in their conduct exhibiting characteristics that the motor park boys will even frown at. And we put it to the president that “are these those who speak for AFASites when he said ‘AFASites have decided’”?
AFASites cannot have decided when the ban on Students’ Union politics has not been lifted. It is to the peril of the endorsed candidate if he relents on his oars thinking that AFASites have got his back using the modern parlance. The right thinking AFASites will surely vote the candidate of their choice irrespective of the mere political exercise that took place at Room 71 on Friday, 24th March, 2017.
Moreover, even if there is supposed to be an endorsement in the real sense of the word from the Faculty of Arts, such will not be hastily planned as was evident at the powwow. What makes someone a stakeholder? Does winning the election of a floor representative in one’s hall of residence with the aim of securing a bed space for the following session make one a Stakeholder in the faculty’s politics? The fact that the leadership of AFAS’ definition of who a stakeholder is faulty cannot be overemphasised. And the Council of Presidents and Secretaries (CPS) that had not been able to organise its election suddenly came alive to participate in an endorsement election.
If Mr President indeed wanted AFASites to decide on whom to represent them at the SU poll, he would have called a congress instead of the powwow he opted for. At least, the invitation to the congress would not have carried the caveat the invitation to the powwow carried – NOTA BENE: Non-invitees are adviced (sic!) to keep off the premises of the meeting in order to forestall any form of embarrassment. A decision reached at the congress would have reflected the general opinion of AFASites and the President’s claim would have been greatly justified. Indeed, the unendorsed candidate would have a tangible reason to step down from the race.
It is on this note that we the Editorial Board members of AFAS Press distance ourselves from the endorsement powwow because as against the position of President Ojikutu, the endorsement does not reflect the general opinion of AFASites. We see in it a device to polarise the Association that has not really been healed of the last years AFAS’ election.
While we congratulate Mr. Ojo Aderemi for emerging, by virtue of the majority votes tolled at the stakeholders’ meeting, we advise that he sees the endorsement as not giving him any extra advantage over Comrade Hamzat Abass Ayodeji. We also advise the Comrade not to be dampened by the endorsement. It actually meant or means nothing. Believe it, AFASites have not decided.
For more information, visit www.afaspressui.wordpress.com