Without any intent of ingratiating ourselves with the present session of Faculty Legislative Council (FLC) of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students (AFAS), we say the present composition of the council is the best AFAS has got in our recent history.
The unbiased and critical way with which the AFAS Press budget was treated on the floor of the House on Saturday, 22nd April, 2017 was something unprecedented in our recent history and we cannot but acknowledge the ingenuity of some (in fact, many) of the members of the council who steered the Council into breaking from the abnormal norm. To be precise, most of the items AFAS Press proposed to the Council were approved without much difficulty. This indeed is a radical departure from the norm. The Rt. Hon. Clinton Chibueze-led FLC has again proved to many Progressive minded AFASites that we could get it right if the right type of people is given the responsibilities.
Of special mention is the contribution of Hon. Peter Olagunju of the European Studies constituency among other notable honourable men and women of the House. Devoid of exaggeration, there are many among the honourable members of the council who defended the interest of the AFAS Press Organisation as if AFAS Press was their main constituency. What the passage of the budget shows is that the FLC shares Mr Shola Ojikutu, the AFAS president’s ambition of PROGRESS for AFAS. We as an organ of the Association key-in to this collective responsibilities to move AFAS forward.
AFAS Press is not necessarily an adversary of the FLC and other organs that make up the Association. In fact, contrary to the views of many student politicians, which are really unfounded, AFAS Press prioritises the progress of the Association; hence its assumed antagonistic stance against any move that may hinder the smooth running of the Association. It is also against the interest of the Association if the excesses of some unwholesome student politicians are not checked by the Press whose responsibility as the fourth estate gives it mandates to keep watch over their extravagances. Notwithstanding the commendable conduct of most of the honourable members of the Council, there are however those who still belong to the old era, the era of powerfool honourable.
It is so disappointing that in times like these, when the combined intellection of the new forward-thinking executive members and the FLC lawmakers, are clearing the Augean stables of the recent past administrative mess in our Association, there are still some blind-minded persons who have sworn never to align with progress. Many had thought the ascension of Shola Ojikutu and Chibueze Clinton into the leadership of AFAS, as the imminent end to the age-long party of simpletons in our Association. But the attitudes and performances of few dishonourable members during the presentation of the Press budget, has rubbished the positive assumption.
The budget presentation revealed that there are some rudderless members in the AFAS legislative council, whose objective is to continue flying the flags of ignorance hoisted by their never-do-well progenitors. One of them, it was reported, questioned the contribution of the Press to the Association, in a bid to foil the passage of the Press budget. He is obviously not the first of such ignorant spoilers that the Association has seen in recent times. His only seems to be transcendent of precedents, which could have been the reason Poet Wordsworth, reasoned the boy to be the father of man.
The lack of orientation with which Abdulsalam Shakiru Olaniyi, the so-called chairman of the Investigative Committee (a committee of the FLC) spoke on his duties is antithetical to the progressive leanings of the Council when viewed collectively. He seemed not to be aware of the fact that a handshake that is going beyond the elbow is already becoming a cause for concern by discerning members of the public. The man knew not the limit to his power as the chairman of the Investigative Committee; hence, he needs to be schooled in order for him not to encroach on the responsibilities of others, constituting nuisance in the process. His needless interventions on the floor of the House if not checked may eventually lead him to usurp the speakership position.
To start with, Mr Abdulsalam must know that the money being approved for AFAS Press and any other organ of the Association belongs to the Association and is never the money of the House, much less his money as he was insinuating. AFAS account is and can never be the personal fiefdom of the created Investigative Committee. His duties as the chairman of the committee revolve around verifying the prices of the proposed items by the different organs as well as checking the needfulness of such items. That is where the functions stop. Checking if the items are bought is already an encroachment on the duties of the Audit Committee.
The most uninformed comment Mr Abdulsalam made on the floor of the House was that AFAS Press does not contribute financially into the AFAS coffer. The comment was not only reckless, egregious, uninformed, childish, but also disturbing. It is disturbing because one would have thought that an honourable privileged to chair one of the most sensitive committees of the FLC, the Investigate Committee for that matter, and who has been poking his nose into matters outside the purview of his committee, could not have known that amongst the Organs of the Association, AFAS Press remains the only organ that generates money for the Association. As a matter of fact, AFAS Press did not collect any money from the Association’s purse throughout last session. Abdulsalam, with his ill-mannered confederates in which the unrefined and loutish honourable? from English constituency features prominently, were not just pompous in ignorance but also asinine in contributions.
We however see good intent in his overzealousness; but good intent flops when tainted with indecorum and immoderation. As much as we, and in fact every AFASites should want, desire that the raping of the Association’s treasury that was prevalent not too distant ago is nipped, docked and confined to history, we also know that for every constituted authority there are confines and limits. Recognizing this basic principle not only validates one’s claim to scholarship, but also illuminates one’s worth.
On the scrapping of the press organisation’s proposed excursion plan to notable media organisations, we really have no misgivings about that considering the leanness of the Association’s account. What is sauce for goose is sauce for gander. It will be hypocritical and gross of the FLC if it later approves an excursion to any House of Assembly for itself. We are watching. We are waiting.
In conclusion, on the Association’s way to getting it right still lies many bumps which require careful, patient and diligent manoeuvring. It takes the effort of not one person, but every AFASite to reach our desired destination.