DO YOU HAVE ANY BETTER DEFINITION OF FAILURE?
“He who the gods want to kill, they first make mad” – Chinua Achebe
It was Rose Kennedy who said, “It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pains lessen [sic]. But it is never gone.” About eighteen months ago, the Sophomore Team gave their last appearance at Trenchard Hall paving way for the Uniting UitesTeam ‘ably’ led by Omo-Oba BabatundeBadmus alias BB alias Commander-In-Chief of Aluta forces. His entrance into the Students’ Union Building (SUB) came at a time when hopes like the Pyramids of Giza were raised to the sky, proudly pointing to the sun. He came in at a time when we desperately yearned for a cleaner to clear the mess of the outgoing administration and a confronter to re-strategize our battle plan against injustice and oppression. Unfortunately, our Commander led us into a fatal war of silence and we sustained deep mental injuries that even “Time”, with all its potent antidotes cannot heal. Just like Rose Kennedy has said, our wounds are so deep that to lessen our grief, our minds have simply covered them with scar tissue. My lords, I have not come today to open those old wounds, (far from it), rather, I have come to remind us of those scars, to give us a conspectus of our travails for posterity’s sake, such that history may put heroes and villains in their proper places.
My lords, it will definitely amount to an unjust usage of words to say that BB’s administration has failed us. In fact, if words will not be minced, we can boldly say that this administration is the worst ever to have occupied the SUB. As the Latin maxim goes, manifesta probatione non indigent which means, manifest things require no proof, the proof of their failure is visible enough, even to a man with impaired vision. This is an administration that launched its first feat in less than five days in office, when the President barged into the hallowed chambers of the Students’ Representative Council, disregarding all protocols and harassing the house officials in a bid to unjustly influence the outcome of its election to advance his nepotistic entreaty. This singular act led many people to conclude that electing Mr. President was the greatest mistake to have been made. Not just that, even my predecessor, Tijani Oluwamayowa while affirming that popular stand had to argue in support of a case titled “Have we enthroned a mad man?” in this very courtroom.
And is it not highly sardonic my lords, that a team such as the Uniting Uites team woefully failed the test of unity at its inception? Well, what more do you expect from a divided house than resounding defeat? Need I say more, when the picture on the one-book package recently doled out by the Administration speaks a thousand words about their discordance? The administration was heavily characterized by egoistical conflicts of the executives that in no small way militated against them doing anything worth remembering! Their inefficiency was constantly questioned by the SRC such that the house had no choice but to suspend and finally impeach the Public Relations Officer, Ugo Nwakioke.
How many, my lords, how many will this honourable court permit me to count of the numerous jagged teeth of Adepele [a Yoruba mythological figure with many teeth], the scores of incisors or the dozen of canines or is it the countless molars that lie above its scary jaws? If I have to write about the many cases of corruption, mismanagement and maladministration, then by this time tomorrow you would still be here reading the sorry tales. Of course, we are yet to talk about their senseless cyber-attack approaches, where they’ve taken after their role models in national politics by writing senseless open letters and watery expositions all that to make saints out of themselves. Such was the ridiculous level of online representation of our union that outsiders now come to see what victuals we cook that have set the whole house ablaze. The skyrocketed acceptance fee was a case on its own, where this administration decided to treat us to a banquet of uncomfortable silence. And need I remind you again, my lords that it was this same administration that boycotted the Accountability Forum organized by the Union of Campus Journalists to access their accountability and transparency level in office. So what are we saying, when our supposed Students’ Union leaders start to go for sponsored trips, and they dance away in shows of media popularity at the expense of our Union . No doubt, our union is well trapped in their web of conspiracies.
Finally, in the spirit of justice and non-alignment, I want this honourable court to totally disregard the Greek gift (a.k.a one-book package) being circulated by this administration. It should never be seen as an act of efficiency or a sufficient reward for our #200’s. We must see the “package” for what it is: a Greek gift, meant to showcase their ugly pictures and to fraudulently misrepresent their “Our Achievements” to the students. Unfortunately for them, your lordships are too learned to be fooled by such inexistent claims. It was Nicholas Sparks who said, “You’re going to come across people in life who will say all the right words at all the right times. But in the end, it’s always their actions you should judge them by. It’s actions, not words, that matter” Disentangling ourselves from their earlier hypnotizing speeches and manifestos, their actions have been judged by the scale of their responsibility and unfortunately, they have been found wanting, it’s an “f9” on a parallel ground. My lords, to say that this administration is successful is to uphold “the politics of indomie”, to certify division over unity; insanity over reason and mediocrity over excellence.
I rest my case!
NO, FAR FROM IT
“…Show a people as one thing, as only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become.” – ChimamandaAdichie
Dear reader, my course in this piece assents to the dicey nature of words; perhaps, it is as delicate as the surgeon’s trade. However, no matter how tough a subject may be, you do not cut it with a knife, you use the pen!
Award-winning Nigerian writer, Ngozi Chimamanda Adichie, in one of her speeches on the TEDtalk platform, stated that “when we realize that there is never a single story about any place; we regain a kind of paradise.” So, my lords, this week, I choose to paint with words, the less viewed pictures of achievements made by the Babatunde Badmus-led “Uniting Uites” team.
The summary of a random Uite’s assessment of the BB-led administration is that “BB did not do well jor”. Perhaps we need to remind ourselves that the executive arm is not only made of the president, rather it is, like a football team, made up of different folks playing diverse roles, unlike a tennis game that depends on the actions of an individual. To neglect the efforts of the other members of the Uniting Uites team and base one’s assessment on the activities of the president alone is to willingly become a victim of the poverty of thought!
The sport secretary, Mr.Opeyemi Akindele, popularly known as Fela, did not only tread the excellent paths made by his predecessor, Mr.Ottobong Emmanuel, he went further to distinguish himself as one of the lone stars in the team’s dark skies. The SU football league aided the fostering of unity and healthy competition among sportsmen, mostly footballers from different halls of residence. The welfare of sportsmen before and beyond the NUGA games leaves no space for one to question his distinction!
As a team, the administration, perhaps indirectly, facilitated great progress. Towards the end of last session, there were reports of a possible increase in “school fees”; it is quite remarkable that the anticipated increase did not take place, preventing a situation that is currently on ground at the Obafemi Awolowo University. One could only imagine the results if the fees had been increased.
The provision of the Uniting Uites notebook is quite laudable. This is arguably the first of its kind in recent times. The team did not just make provisions for those who were students in the last session, it also made provisions for the new intakes, a strategy, according to the president, aimed at giving the new students a sense of belonging and giving them a brighter view of the union.
What the team, perhaps, lacks in “confrontation”, was made up for in its “negotiation” skills which have produced great results. The provision of internet facilities in the halls of residence and the addition of another Union bus are also pointers to the progress made under this administration. While some may be quick to say that the new bus is a gift, we should note that the first bus too was a gift, both are possibly results of some great representations.
My lords, to say the BB led administration is a failure, is to, once again, portray oneself as a victim of the poverty of thought. 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.
BB’S UNITING UITES ADMINISTRATION: A FAILURE?
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