WITHOUT PREJUDICE, LET’S CALL A SPADE A SPADE!
“There is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t” – Blaise Pascal
Before the untimely death of my treasured father, he never ceased to fill my thirsty ears with his words of wisdom. Out of his fatherly responsibilities, he would always shoot arrows of timeless truths into my heart, telling me that those arrows are my maps for navigating the quizzical mazes of this world and that they will always be with me even after he is no more, as if he knew his time was near, may his gentle soul rest in perfect peace. My lords, kindly permit me to borrow one from those arrows of timeless truth bequeathed to me by my late father which states that ‘’when you close your eyes out of prejudice and chronic spitefulness and let useless and evil people pass you by, you will never know when an honourable man will quietly walk away!’’ And in order to prevent this from happening, I have come before you to posit and strongly support that the First annual Legislative Summit organized by the Students’ Representative Council is one of the best things to have ever happened to our union.
But before I proceed with my arguments about the program, it is extremely important for me to highlight some of the achievements of the Students’ Representative Council for everyone to have a clearer perspective on the composition and quality of the council. This council as we all knows is the legislative arm of the Students’ Union conferred with the responsibilities of enacting laws, making policies and checking the excesses of the Executive. My lords, it is only if we want to undermine the achievement of these esteemed students’ representatives that we will declare that they’ve done nothing – sincerely that will be unfair. From where do we start counting the teeth of Adipele? Is it from the hundreds of canines or the thousands of molars and incisors? The SRC has achieved the numerous feats of checking the excesses and fruitless spending of the Executives. It has also suspended two members of the Executive for various reasons relating to maladministration. The age-long desire of having a Students’ Judicial Council would not have been possible if the SRC had failed to pass a bill to that effect. The Students’ Union Constitution has also been amended to pave way for a more vibrant Students’ Union guided by proper laws. These are just a fraction of what the 3rd Assembly of the SRC has done and it will be so strange to think that the same SRC that has performed this great will now stoop so low to organise a program that is needless and useless.
The First Annual Legislative Summit organized by the SRC on the 13th of June, 2014 is needful and important as it created an avenue for the students’ representatives to interact with actual law makers invited from both chambers of our country. It definitely supports the university’s policy of bridging the gap between the gown and the town. Of course, my opponent may be quick to say that not all invited guests showed up for the occasion but it is obvious that this is not a game of number, so far the few invited guests that showed up were able to effectively deliver their experiences as law makers to our students’ representatives, that is all we need. It is no more news that we are the leaders of tomorrow, the students’ representatives of today are the law makers of tomorrow and if they can’t get to learn from the experiences of our present leaders through programs like this then I doubt if they won’t have to repeat their mistakes step by step.
Furthermore, there have been grumblings from some quarters my Lords, that the book “Legislative Business And Proceedings” written by our amiable speaker, Oluyemi Sarumi, which was also launched at the occasion is just a project to selfishly feather his personal cap but I beg to disagree! The people advancing this cause no doubt have been completely blinded by prejudice and strong hatred as my late father would say and as such they have failed to sight the passage of great innovation. For years before now my lords, we’ve had one set of students’ leaders after another with each set making new mistakes and repeating old ones made by their predecessors. This singular act of lack of documentation and codification of experiences while in office has been one of the major factors stalling the progress of our Union. Now that the speaker has been courageous enough to publish a book based on students’ legislatives, giving solution to common problems that plagues the Representative council based on his experiences while in office to “prevent doing the wrong thing or doing the right thing in the wrong way”. So, can we just put aside our animosities and embrace this creative origination?
Finally, some antagonists of this program may even say that it is insignificant and cannot in any way solve our age-long students’ legislative council problems. And on this particular note I will be forced to agree with them for obviously the City of Rome was not built in a day and the program was not some magic wand to solve the problems of many years. However, whether we like it or not, this program has done more than lay a well-structured foundation for the coming Students’ Representative Council to build on. It was Louis Sachar who said “Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life, tip toe if you must, but take the step.” My Lords, no doubt, that smallest step is definitely the First Annual Legislative Summit. I rest my case.
A TOTAL WASTE OF RESOURCES!
“For if we do not bury the dead for the sake of God,
We must bury the dead for the fear of stench” – Akeem Lasisi (IREMOJE)
My lords, I choose not to commend the unimportant summit organized by the students’ representative council! This week’s riddle centres on Owuye (the dicey nature of words); if we talk, we may live, if we don’t, we may die; the writer’s course is delicate like the surgeon’s trade.
The advisors of the principal officers of the Students representative council are either incompetent or not enough; perhaps the existing ones should visit one of the numerous prayer grounds on Lagos-Ibadan express way for special prayers, especially in a time like this when anointing is at its peak. This would even amount to a waste of students’ money; a short retreat at the back of the chapel of the resurrection will certainly do wonders!
My lords, I am not angry, no I am not, just that I am greatly dissatisfied by the constant attempt by our leaders to get initiated into the already overpopulated cult of mediocrity, while this is not a crime, the subsequent effects should pique one’s concern; even if we don’t bury the dead because of God, we must bury the dead because of stench! The programme like most of the public lectures, award ceremonies and all other corporate begging programmes organized by student leaders around here, ridicules our status as scholars. If the present “politrickers” in this country are the SRC’s best men for a job description that says “building better leaders for a better future”, my lords, we need no prophetic utterances to know what the future of governance hold; is it not the hoof-print of the leading horse that the ones at the rear follow? Now, we know the priests in the shrine of parody!
I feel the SRC, a body that was supposed be the policy making body, and check the excesses of the Students’ Union executive (as entrenched in the students’ union constitution Article XV: (I) The council [SRC] shall be the policy making body of the Union), rather than organize a summit, should apologize to us for the many failures of this present administration; an administration that spent #1,389,220 in three months, with about #29,000 for recharge card allowances per month. An administration that was wide awake when acceptance fee increased to #20,000, same set of persons that travelled abroad for leadership trainings only to come back and make more silly decisions. The executives’ case is not an “only you waka come” type, the SRC itself was funny; an exorbitant budget of about #1,000,000, an excursion request of about #418,000. How many shall we count? Many are the colours that make their Joseph’s coat!
My lords, if they had stopped at just the summit, “fair” could have been the score. The book launch and the awards further ridicule the whole programme. For the book launch; a disclaimer post on the students’ union Facebook group page (and perhaps dozens of unwritten ones on not being carried along), by one of the members of the SRC, representing Tedder hall constituency, opens before us in 3D the level of unity. The post quoted the speaker to have said what will be his reward in the Union is if the programme doesn’t hold? Now, that the new wireless connections are not yet passworded, could someone please search Google for answers!
For the awards; while not being concerned whether they intended to give the awards to themselves or to non SRC members, it brings to remembrance the unending drama in the awarding of the national awards. I will only quote Obierika’s (yes, the Obierika in “THINGS FALL APART”) tweet when he saw Okonkwo’s dangling body: “GOD WILL SEE US#”
Finally my Lord, because of the next time the SRC wants to organize another programme, (for the summit’s posters say this is the first), I say, once again, it will be great if instead of this, we have a penance, a beautiful planned confession session, of course with the students as Pontiff, or a service of solemn songs to reflect on this administration’s many failures or…
I rest my case!
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 judgment. Take the gavel, make your decision and slam because you are the judge in this courtroom.
SRC LEGISLATIVE SUMMIT: WORTHWHILE OR NOT?
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