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University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria

By Aderinto Victoria

Welcome to the Faculty of Education, University of Ilorin, the home of intellects and the place where great potentials are nursed. It is also the only Faculty in the entire University without a substantive President. Thanks to the provision of the constitution that allows for the position of Vice President, without which, maybe, the faculty would by now be in an autopilot situation.

It is not a total lost anyway to the members of the constituency as the faculty can regardless boast of Acting President in the character of the elected Vice president. Even though the effort by the faculty public to acknowledge it as a substantive one is almost a lost one.

Last year, the Presidential Elections for each faculty within the University of Ilorin was held. Candidates with due qualifications contested, made their intentions known during campaigns and adhered strictly to the directives given by the electoral body within the school. The two prominent candidates running for the position of Presidency of the Faculty of Education were David Chibueze (Erudite) and Onu Ekene Victor (Solace). Things were running smoothly for both candidates until they decided to do politics the dirty way, and resultantly, got both candidates disqualified from the race. 

 In a brief conversation with Chibueze, he mentioned the reason behind his disqualification, blaming the other candidate and his team. According to him, the campaign team of Onu dug into his social media accounts, obtained certain pictures which etched doubts in the hearts of the electoral body.

Chibueze claimed the picture which showed him with a tattoo, was false. He claimed that the picture was merely used as a concept for a photo-shoot during his early years of modeling. His explanations were however not tangible enough to the Faculty’s body. The damage had already been done, and his character was questioned. 

The situation further escalated when the character of Onu was questioned based on certain grounds which were not revealed to the public. The candidates belittled each other’s worth. 

On the day set for the election, members of the Faculty met the sudden news of the disqualification of both candidates. Every other election slated was held and Agbona Busurat emerged as the Vice President. In the absence of a President, she was made the Acting President and later, the President based on a consensus reached among the council members according to the Speaker for the Faculty. 

The students in the faculty were however not briefed concerning this decision, especially by their various representatives.

I perceive a foul play

In very simple reasoning, if the team of leaders were somewhat enthusiastic about having a fairly elected President, why did they not push for it far beyond the results we presently have?

During an interview with the Speaker of the Faculty (simply called Ridwan), he revealed that a petition was sent to the Student’s Affair concerning the issue. According to him, they are yet to receive feedback from the body. 

Mentioning a few factors that warranted for the latter decisions made by the elected leaders of the Faculty, Ridwan sought to justify their actions. He raised the issue of financing another election, claiming it was rather too expensive. He also insinuated that Miss. Agbona deserved the position/title on the basis that she had worked so hard as an Acting President.

Is democracy a system based on merit? If yes, what happens to the general choice of the people? We might as well say that many individuals are to be in power when compared to politicians in power, simply because they ‘merit’ it. The choice of the people makes democracy what it is. Why take this choice away from students of the Faculty of Education? 

With the forthcoming elections, students should question the democracy being upheld by the Faculty and ensure that the present leaders are accountable for decisions during their tenure. That is true democracy.

Post Author: Ridhwan Adetutu Abdullahi

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