A writer need not give excuse for writing- Chinua Achebe
Here in Unibadan, even in the absence of political parties, tensions mount on and pile in tonnes. The tensed atmosphere was exacerbated by the endorsements filling the nostril and beating the eardrum of every Uites. Even my green freshmen who grin from ear and to ear with mouth too always in tete a tete are not left out of the political environment that followed the endorsements, contentedly pioneered by Nnamdi Azikiwe hall.
The trajectory of events that laced up the boots of the University of Ibadan political world which promised to heat up and on in the special month of April has leveled intricacy, with defaming and accusative propagandas; the bane of Nigeria society has delved into the university community, to become the order of the day, replacing sanity and sanitary common sense, logical reasoning and the goodly humans we were birthed with, sentencing conscience, rational thinking and goodliness to hades.
In a month now, bar any further disruption in activities, we should be discarding our poorly stenched representatives (save the capable SRC) and welcoming fresh legs to give us a new sense of direction and outlook.
But my worries here are…WHO ARE THESE FRESH LEGS? ARE THEY GOING TO BE ANY BETTER? OR WORSE? WILL THE UNION EVER BE TRANSFORMED? AND RESCUED FROM THE STATE OF PALATABLE RUIN THE NIFEMI ADMINISTRATION DRAGGED IT INTO? WHO WILL ANCHOR THE UNION…IS HE CAPABLE???
The last question is the story of who will become the new number 1 student of the prestigious premier university. Of utmost concern and delicate as the position is, as careful uites ought to be, in casting their votes, void of sentiments, personal likeness, prejudice, racial ethnicity, religious bigotry and with wide eyes opened.
Following the endorsement saga, reactions trailed it as expected with Uites partitioned along several sentimental lines.
Speculatively, Ojo Aderemi, Ogbenekwu Valentinus, Ogeleyinbo Bodurin Joseph and Hamzat Ayodeji Abass are vying for the presidency of the Students’ Union.
1. OJO ADEREMI: NO STRIKE; WE WANT NO EXTRA YEAR
The convener of the Patriotic Intelligentsia has been at the top of his game winning endorsement from his department (unopposed), faculty and hall and has been touted by many to scale through.
But I (anonymously) do not deem him fit for the hot seat. Not anywhere near capable. This is what I have against him:
HE IS IN 200L, THUS INEXPERIENCED: Yes, you can ask me for the umpteenth time what his level has got to do with his ambition even when the constitution permits any student(not a fresher or finalist) who wishes to contest any election at the SU’ level.
Ask me again and I will tell you I see him to be inexperience. He is just a year above the freshmen and he wants to be the number 1 citizen on campus. Who does that? According to an anonymous whatsapp user on a political group page, “who does he even think he is? Someone, whom we just matriculated together last year, now bossing around the campus. He will now be my leader. How will he even control the finalists self?” And he went ahead casting and binding names of some political jargons or sorry “godfathers” who he felt he (Ojo) would fail to control. Many Uites as well belong to this school of thought and feel just a year on campus amounts to inexperience on the side of Ojo Aderemi.
However, his ardent adherents and staunch supporters believe that he has the experience much talked about than the other candidates, his rivals. One of them put it thus: 3years diploma + 2 years in the University (ongoing) means Ojo Aderemi is in his 5th year in the province of University of Ibadan.
Again, his opposing voices won’t have any of that and still believed he is inexperienced and incapable to run the affairs of our union from the centre.
TOO RADICAL: MORE OF FREE MOTE; CONSISTENCY IN STRIKE ACTIONS
This is probably the most critical part of his list of “why I cant vote for him”. Many Uites, having learned the bitter consequence of the #FREEMOTE industrial action which produced a single effect (unwanted though) , of halting the academic calendar for 7 weeks and are thus, wary of another baseless aluta. This accusation stems up from his frequent writeups, perceived personality and belief. Most notably, SAY NO TO VICTIMIZATION and his likening of the Students’ Union to a “PRESSURE GROUP” who as we all know, are ardent STRIKERS, always protesting and embarking on industrial actions
From the angle of a Law student who I happen to be (right now), I won’t condone any strike that would add one more year to my callup to the bar school bearing in mind how the last strike action denied the last graduating set the ample opportunity to get into Law school last year. I don’t want a repetition. And can you blame me as a finalist in the Faculty of Education too? I’m sick of UI and cant bear to be delayed by somebody’s (in) actions. Never, I repeat. I wont vote him.
HIS CGPA IS CONTESTABLE
This is another propaganda that sneaked out of the smoke to drive sideways after the release of the popular Saint Peter’s Book of Life, which ought to be branded Book of Hades, Death, Seoul et al; as the list goes unabated.
A serial whatsapp user even typed in a group page: “how can someone whose GP is even unknown to us rule us”…blah blah blah?
In another reply by an anonymous observer:”… the electoral committee should not be beclouded by favouritism and allow him to contest for the election… ” While another is of the opinion the book of life tends to be faulty. Probability here and there. Something…
2. VALENTINUS: MONEY TO BUY VOTES; SCARED OF SDC
The prospective legal practitioner, expected to bag his faculty endorsement has come in for much of the shots from the red label labeled “CRITICISM” with controversial reservations raining from all angle.
HE IS A COWARD: UNFIT TO LEAD
Mr Valentinus, the young man preaching CONSOLIDATION has been branded a coward in some quarters over his role in the controversial signatory of the Assistant Hall Warden to the hall account.
According to sources closely related to the hall and a principal officer, backed up by others claim; he pulled out of the struggle against the hall management and refused acting his role thereafter. Some further claim he even wrote a letter to the hall management, vindicating himself, for the sake of victimization.
This role of his, has led Zikites alike those familiar with the situation to uphold the belief that someone who proved incapable of confronting the hall management but rather shied away is also incapable of leading the union, defending and protecting the interests of Uites in the face of potential oppression and victimization whenever the School management chooses to run agog with unpleasantries.
PDP POLITICS; GIVE AND RECOUP
This is another argument that has surfaced in the mind of Uites which is more threatening and in two phases.
The first being a case of “give and take”, that is a practice in which you appeal to your voters benevolent sentiments to get their votes; rephrased further, a not too far from Teslim’s (PDP flag bearer in OYO) approach at becoming a governor by buying and erecting a transformer to appease a local community and when he could not win even the local government polls (not to talk or emerge as governor), got it (transformer) removed. He (Teslim Folarin) however denied the fact he has anything to do with whatever happened to the transformer thereafter but hasn’t and couldn’t deny the fact the de-erection of the pole took place immediately after the results at the polls which saw him defeated.
Leveled here to UI, Valentinus is said to have solved the mayhem and nightmare of Zikites who had to troop in splinter groups and head west, south, east and north to Bello, Kuti, Teddar and of course Indy hall to watch a live match on a TV screen. When absolutely the cable, TV and decoder are working perfectly okay, the only problem was the inability of the executive to subscribe, for reasons not to be discussed here. Mr Valentinus, after almost the 4th week took it upon himself to subscribe for the hall (about a week or two to the endorsement) and ease Zikites (sport lovers) suffering, a move that has now become controversial.
While from another outlook and up to the rescue, in taking on his adherents, this is just an innocent move to help the hall out of a crisis, of the many crises it was and I still facing which is a very commendable act and which to me ought to be applauded, that is if, and only if, the snail behind the shell wants nothing in return and the move was not in any way to influence the electorates.
But, as of latest, the move to subscribe for the hall seems to be political. Or how do you describe the situation of things when Zikites are back to their various redistributions to watch football matches when everything is now intact in their hall. A Zikite and friend when quizzed on why they are back to Indy hall said, “Valentinus was supposed to be endorsed now. Upon all he did for the hall. He even subscribed…” and the ranting goes on. This is coming from a sport lover whose sport sentiments have been appealed to.
The second phase is that rumoured, believed and affirmed according to close quarters, of Mr Valentinus using his financial prowess here again, this time not on the entirety of a body but the so called power-holders – godfathers, to woo and buy them over to his side.
Now, the argument was backed up initially with some names, the top guns involved in Zik hall mentioned, who “because they have eating ‘dodo‘(plantain) cannot afford ‘ododo‘(truth) anymore”. This has further been christened a potential cabal rule as this same people who place you in power are the piper who will eventually dictate the tune you, the pipe will play to the whole University community, which of course we have to (grudgingly) dance to.
If permitted to chip in, this might just be a sheer coincidence with him being benevolent to his friends and just a normal spree he embarks on but this, as contested is no coincidence and is unprecedented.
A normal PDP approach of years, whereby women will be given #200 + rice just in exchange for their mandates to ruthlessly rule and govern as they please for the next four years. They (politician) satisfy your (electorate) 24-hour cause and in the course buy over your conscience with a license to curse you (electorates) for their period of rule.
This in effect is not to add to campaign spending and potential costs to be incurred from publicity which is being touted to potentially be the loudest on campus. The accumulation of this cost, according to complainants will head one way should he emerge as the Union president which is trying to recoup the money he spent. This accordingly is going to work out well by using the office of the Presidency of the Union as a connection to source funds outside and then divert it personally as no one would know the total amount he got and the number of approached sponsors that responded.
Hmmm (sighs deeply), a typical Nigerian politics – spend heavily in campaign and recoup it on getting to office. Is Valentinus giving out the cap to get the whole head???
LAW STUDENT; FEAR OF SDC & LAW SCHOOL
The last on my list here of prejudice charged against this young gentleman is not new anymore, all law aspirants of the Union presidency suffer the same fate, not to forget Kayode Bello (just admitted).
That is the potentially speculated effect of unionism for a law student as their (in)activity is capable of proving to be their adversary, hindering them from eligibility to law school, being a Barrister and eventually practising.
3. OGELEYINBO BODUNRIN JOSEPH
The young Mellanbite, potential medic has little against him and even this little holds substance.
NOT A CANDIDATE; GROSSLY INCAPABLE
The convener of OBJECTIVITY has a lot – in – one going wrong for him. He stepped down during last year SU’ election for Adegoke Kehinde Victor aka Kent (eventual runner up) and that alone in UI politics means lack of the passion and zeal required to take on the post being aspired for, and as well shows uncertainty and independence (feeble and porous without endorsement) on the part of the aspirant.
Still in the same book,but a new page, OBJ has a hell lot to answer on how as a medical student in his prime year will he be able to combine administrative work here on campus with academic activities (which of course should be prioritized) back to ABH in UCH.
And even if adherents will defend, like I opine that he can reside at Mellanby, it is a known fact the rigours of being a medical student, especially at 500l is enormous and in itself enough to wear one out. How can he perform? Even if just a “Nifemi show” is required of him, in the face of an able SRC, his academics will suffer (in my opinion) 50% dip not to talk of the active Unionist the Unibadan suburb crave for at the moment?
HAMZAT AYODEJI ABASS: NO SENTIMENTAL ADMINISTRATION
The fair youngman from Linguistics Department known as COMRADE has not been able to dodge the jamboree and shades of propangandist criticisms flowing in the air.
He has been accused of being too proud and arrogant for the union. That’s funny though when your personality affects your aspiration. According to the fingers accusing, their mouths say Comrade doesn’t greet nor is he cheerful. He is a low profile aspirant with little or no publicity, thinking his wealth of experience at the SRC and age advantage can do it all (my opinion) .
Well, if none, I can still partially attest to the low publicity as my roommates albeit just 1 of 6 (squatters included) know of just Ojo, OBJ and Val, but not Comrade.
On quizzing further, other factions of anti – Comrade opined that he (Comrade) is believed to heavily rely on the votes of the mass of the Muslims in the entirely school community.
This, to me, if permitted, is totally outrageous. Religious politics found its way to UI all the way from Abuja?
I beg to ask, are the other aspirants not going to get Muslims votes or is Comrade not going to see a Christian vote, that of who belief in his cause? My own view though!
But a spade be called a spade, a girlfriend of mine was seated in class and Comrade walked in, greeted his friends on his way to a seat and sat down, leaving those at the back.
These among many others were the complaints against Comrade:
a) No lecturer was in class but a class was imminent
b) Only those that hailed him alike were greeted. The girl, a friend of mine (seated at the back with me) now asked on hearing people mentioning “Comrade”: “Is that him?” (pointing to Comrade)? And I nodded, “yes”. So, a 200l UTME student belonging to Afas does not know Comrade, an aspirant of the number 1 post in the Students’ Union with election just a month away(presumably). The girl said, and I quote: “I have never seen a politician like this in UI in my life. He entered and went to sit down. He can’t even greet anyone. Nawa o. He already left a bad impression on me”.
These among many others were the complaints against Comrade.
And there you have it, who does the crown fit?
M. I SPY