Have you ever wondered why in Nigeria we have a ministry for women affairs and social development? But there is no ministry for men affairs. Why? Isn’t that unfair? Guess women find it difficult to cope when held by the shackles of poverty, majority stay down when they fall, and they find it hard to fight for their rights? It only shows a sign of weakness! A weakness that has been there for years, only men can rescue and help them out, little wonder why the Holy books refer to them as weak but tender vessels. Women also get intoxicated when in control of power; vivid examples are the likes of Turai Yar’Adua and Prof Dora Akunyili.

The University of Ibadan Students’ Union on her way to rebuild the ancient ruins will be three years old after many years of silence. The Pathfinder team led by Tokunbo Salako have tried their hands on the rudder and the sophomore team led by Ekhator Edosa are having a bumpy journey because the tides are crashing in. In a couple of months to come, the tenure of the sophomore team will be over and it will be time for a new administration. Oh, how time flies! The question: Is the Students’ Union ready for a female president? I would say NO, we are not ready.

Having witnessed several electioneering processes and campaigns in the University of Ibadan, females are always comfortable been the Vice-Presidents, they have penchant for contesting for that post. It only shows their natural dependence on the President who is a male.

Atane Colette, UISU Vice President (2012/2013)

Nevertheless, there has always been an exception for a few who have decided to move out of this departmental conundrum of deputy, vice, assistant etc. The likes of first UCJ female president, Miss Nike Omolehin after more than 2 decades of UCJ existence, first AFAS female president, Victoria Osuji after about 3score years of the Faculty’s existence , first LSS female president, Mariam Olafuyi after about 30years of her existence just to name a few. 44 Presidents of America, the most liberal state in the world, yet no female President. About 202 heads of State in Africa since independence, yet one female head. A certain structure must be in existence, before the women as our mothers get to maintain them and UISU is yet to acquire that structure. When she does then we can hand her over to our mothers to nurse. For now, we are not ripe for a female President.

Furthermore, I am of the opinion that the current tempo of administration of the Students Union in UI cannot be handled by a lady. The stakes are high; the gales are blowing, only a man can stabilize this. A female president will result in numerous god fathers; ladies in politics have got a lot of god fathers, it is not their fault, they need guys for survival so they have to seek help. We will end up having a president tossed around by every advice advancing from the lips of a god father. Do you think a female president will be able to travel at any time of the day for emergency meetings and conferences? Students’ Union is not a faculty or a hall of residence; this is over ten thousand students with varying “madness”. Student Unionism needs an individual entity with intellectual madness, sensible radicalism, good sense of judgement, an outstanding ruggedness and dogged determination.

The Union is only an infant who needs proper care, time and sound leadership. I believe that a man would be in the right position to do this but I will never underestimate the power of a woman with the heart of a man.

Mariam Olafuyi, first female LSS president (2011/2013)







My Lords Temporal and spiritual, members of the fourth estate present, I salute you Sirs and Ma, we are very sorry for being absent at last week hearing we hope to make up for it in subsequent times, I for one was busy investigating the production of N5,000 coin. Today we go into a gender sensitive issue after the order of UI Student Union, are we ready for a female President?

Indira Ghandi, Margaret Thatcher, Johnson Sirleaf, female heads of various states who have planted their footprints not just on the sands of time, but evidently of the rocks of history. Margaret Ekpo, Hajiya Sambo, and Funmilayo Ransome Kuti are great women who could not wax the lyrics of the Presidential chorus but did as great as they could in the political freedom of the Nigerian Nation. Having this great cloud of witness, how could someone say that the University of Ibadan is not ready for female SU President?

If UISU was ready for any kind of Presidency, it is that of a lady, a female that has the motherly heart to nurse a tender union like ours to quick maturity. In actual fact, we need a lady who is delicate but strong like the nature of the rib which with it is believed they were made from. A lady, who can tenderly solicit care for the union and sternly protect the union’s interest in the face of various degrees of challenges.

It is often said, train a man train a family, train a woman train a Nation. The home is the most basic yet the most important unit of any visionary society. In a typical home, though the father is the bread winner, the mother is the care taker. She defines the values of the children and hence the society and the Nation at large. God has naturally endowed our ladies with that unique ability to multi-task.

Finally my Lords, I am grossly disappointed and must show my immense dissatisfaction with scholars of the school of thought that still believe that in the 21st century, the prime of human existence, a generation that boast confidently in absolute gender equity  women should be backbenchers, a people who should be seen and not be heard. Scholars who still believe that only men have the special skills to perform in key offices of any society or Nation at large, scholars who opine that our mothers in the making cannot wield the sword of Student Union Presidency effectively.

What do you opine?

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. Is UISU ready for a female President?

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