NO, STUDENTS’ UNION DUES SHOULD NOT BE PAID THIS SESSION
The corridor of power is always filled with people that are intoxicated in varying degrees. It is good to have power and be in control but the straw that could break the camel’s back is lack of money. Power and currency flows together, you get drunk with power but you really need to show off some things you have got. That is the Nigerian mentality, acting like a big time braggadocio. In any setting or group, generation of funds is necessary because money fuels almost everything you have to do. Generate funds through a noble means, incorporate transparency and accountability into your system of leadership. This would make a good leader.
The reign of the Pathfinder Team is over! It is time for The Edosa led administration to swim in the ocean of student’s leadership and come out clean. News emanating from the Students’ Union Executives states that students of the University of Ibadan are to pay a due of 200 naira. They are of the view that the payment of these dues will help them to be “independent” of the school administration. They also stated that it is not “mandatory”; it is at freewill, tantamount to a donation. The question is: Why should the students pay 200 naira due at the beginning of second semester when the tenure is almost over?
At this point in time, it must be clearly noted that this is the ivory tower, the nation’s premier university. If the union is really in need of money then it should be incorporated into our school fees at the beginning of the semester; it should reflect on our receipts. I think that would be a lot easier. This is not a departmental association or a hall of residence. This is a staggering population of over 12,000 students. The President made it clear that the school administration has supported them with N500,000 and that there was no tangible left over for them from Tokunbo’s administration as the previous administration left N1,090 only. They have a BUDGET of about 5 million for the Union, 13 million for Union week and everything looks like a great mountain to climb. In a bid to attend to this population, one would expect the mode of payment of these dues should be electronic or computerized in a way. It is somehow amusing to know that the treasurers/Financial secretaries will be the one collecting the dues. If the money is not compulsory, it is likely that half of the student population will not pay and hence the goal of this might not be achieved. The solution to the lack of funds is not the payment of dues. If 12,000 students pay 200 naira that yields 2.4 million naira and this are miles away from the target. I think the students need not to pay this amount, it is uncalled for.
Inasmuch as the students’ body wants to bask in the aura of independence from the shackles of the school administration. It is important for them to be financially buoyant, they can generate funds through other means; sponsorship deals, rent paid by occupants of the Students’ Union building and also from well-distinguished Alumni of the university. This union is a resurgent one, young and yet to be weaned from the mother’s breast. The truth is that at this crucial stage of metamorphosis, the decision of the union is been largely influenced by the school administration irrespective of her financial status. I am saying in essence that we students need not to pay; we can always search other routes to become a vibrant, resilient, forward-prone and independent body.
YES, STUDENT UNION DUES SHOULD BE PAID!
At this juncture, I would like to welcome us to this historic semester. A semester when the Premier Hall will go Premier again in celebration mood as she elaborately celebrate her 60th year. A semester that would see Sultan Bello Hall would show forth nobility at 50.
A semester that would see to the graduation of the first group of the Prestigious DIAMOND SET [UI @ 60]. A semester that would see many other historic events grace the face of this campus. Courtroom also wishes to bring historic articles.
To the crust of the matter, should student Union dues be paid? As much as I would like to say no due to absence of proper modalities, patriotism would not let me. The dues in question are to be paid to financial secretaries of Halls and Faculties as stated by the Union.
I made up my mind to pay last week and was to go with a friend whom I had convinced earlier to pay also, but our minds where compromising when we realised that there were no proper machinery in place to see to it that almost everyone pays. The Union executives, Speaker and members of the Representative council are of the opinion that students should not be coarsed into paying up the dues with the words like; “it is our union”, “we shouldn’t be management’s puppet”, “for the management to help us they want us to have commitment fee”, and all that.
I would advice that the Union should see beyond now, delving into the future to ensure that this doesn’t repeat itself next session. Structure should be put in place right now to secure the future as touching these issues.
Now to patriotism, a couple of months ago, someone over the social media tagged our Union as one swimming in the murky waters of mediocrity, a good number of those who heard about that rebutted this claiming our Union was way above the mediocre level. If we all can stand up when it comes to words about our union why not when it comes in terms of funds?
“We must act as eloquently as we speak — else we have no integrity.”—MARY FISHER
So friends, let us act as eloquently as we speak if we are to show forth to the world and other student bodies around the Nation that our integrity is intact. Let us lead responsibly, that other Unions may follow, keeping in mind that Student Unionism in sub-Saharan Africa started on our soil. Let us all rise to aid our Union and pay our dues. N200 may or may not create a hole in our pockets, but lack of integrity will create a hole in character.
PAY YOUR UNION DUES!
GOD BLESS OUR UNION.
CONCLUSION: This column is about you, it presents the two sides of a case courtesy of two writers from different schools of thought. “Audi alteram partem” means hear the other side before passing your judgement. Take the gavel, make your decision and slam because you are the judge in this courtroom. Should Students’ Union dues be paid this Session?
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