- AKA Princely X’s Press Night
By Abdullahi Ridhwan Adetutu éclat
Professor J. F. Olorunfemi of the department of Geography had probably seen the dazzling future of the university of Ilorin, and what it was capable of in terms of products before he arrived at the catchphrase – “Better by Far”.
On the 29th of November, year 2001, the seasoned professor hatched the phrase at a confluence of intellectuals, and thenceforth, it became a cliché in the mouths of all unilorites, and this is just as the school system, itself, adopted it as its second nomenclature. The phrase was the title of Prof Olorunfemi’s research paper presented at the 51st lecture in the series of inaugural lectures of the University.
Whatsoever the notion that informed his choice for the catchphrase which hitherto has proudly and peculiarly become an attaché of the university, it has however been further strengthened by the intellectual exquisiteness and exceptionality in the display of eggheadedness by the Better by Far university’s students.
No doubt, with the day’s electrifying atmosphere, despite the misty nature of the period, any teacher, not to talk of a parent would be lost in euphory, and inadvertantly have his/herself moon-eyed throughout the night of Friday 28th through Saturday 29th perceiving all shades of brilliance as were being oozed out by the prides of the university.
It was that period of the session again when students’ political activities in the school are let loose, or better say the beasts of intellectualism is uncaged and the trade in intellectual market is thrown open for anyone with enough intellectual wares to trade. In this, of course, the ones with unwaned moxie clinch the coveted seats of students’ union leadership for the next academic session in the university.
When many stars shine brightly, and by the dictation of the land’s regimen, just a few is needed to torshlight the affairs for the others, then identification of the ones with more sophisticated intellectual powerhouses might proof herculean, sisyphean in nature, except by subjecting them to rigorous pitching mechanism.
Such a mechanism, expectedly, would have to be such that devoids a tendency to porosity and prone to pocity of intellect. And equally it must (if can’t surpass) shares equality to the perceived best amongst those to be screened. Thus, it must be an assemblage of individuals that have seen it all and still maintain their brightness.
In practice, this set of personnels would come together and form a guild of panelists saddled with the expedition of identifying, separating and clearing the grains from the shafts.
For this above purpose, the rationale behind the Union of Campus Journalists, UCJ’s Press Night, is brought to the fore.
The panel for this year’s press night consists six panelists. Ms Ganeeyah Olowoyo, Mr Faruq, and Mr Akinyemi Adedeji Muhammad, popularly known as Princely X led the pact.
UCJ Press Night in collaboration with the Independent Students Electoral Commission, ISEC, is a libralised avenue for the political contenders to showcase their exceptional knowledge vis-a-vis the expected responsibilities attached to the offices for which they are vying.
This night, usually by the electroral umpire’s timeline, comes a day or two after the presentation of manifestoes to the electorates in the open arena of the students’ union building (SUB), and before the presidential debate in the school’s main auditorium, which marks the eve of the elections.
The 34th students union elections comes up on the 2nd of July, just a night away, and at the moment 32 aspirants are confidently lining up to take the mantles from the present occupants of the ten positions, respectively, in the Central Executive Council, CEC, of the students’ Union.
Unavoidably, 22 of these aspirants would have to rehabilitate themselves back to their respective faculties, and the community of about 45,000 electorates. Steadily, the time is ticking and the day of verdict is just a night away.
This year’s Press Night spanned not less than 12 hours. From 7.15pm of Friday through Saturday’s early hours, the events were cognitively engaging. The point of the screening exercise for pre-registered congressmen before their entrance into Lecture Theatre IV, in itself, first constituted an interesting inkling to the main event.
Even the political bigwigs across board who did not pre-register for the attendance of the program were locked out until after the body of organizers resolved later that the entrance should be made for all irrespective of their registration status however not without a valid means of identification. For whatever influence these juggernauts relied on, the over zealous entrance keepers, ensured counter doggedness, and no any form of illegal entrance.
The contestants were ushered in alongside their accredited supporters who were not more two persons for each aspirants. Definitely, none of these aspirants had a cue to the interesting nerve-shattering packages prepared ahead for them. Regardless, those with high level of tenacity, intellectual muscles, plus sparkling articulatory traits were able to bounce back in the cause of the intellectual fisticuffs.
The aspirants for the position of social secretary opened the floor at about a quarter past eight. Interesting nerve surged through the spine of the scenery, especially when the question of social morality hit the spines of the contestants.
Abbey, Crus and Luddar B. were thrown unbalanced when asked to explain the purposes for their Twitter updates in which, specifically, Luddar B. displayed a half nude pick of himself. This question was asked in relation to their beliefs on social morality.
For the waiting contestants, the Social secretary screening which lasted for about 35 minutes, served as a rude shock to them, however unfortunately, too late to back out. In contrast, this revelation glued audience more to their seats. Indeed, It was an interesting beginning.
Dogo and Beejay stepped on the daise as the aspirants for the position of Sport Director. The two lanky men initially seemed to be in possession of the needed cognitive armory for the position until the waggling tongue of the panel tied their motor sensors.
With ever dynamic set of panelists, Princely X, being the pact lead, Messres Dogo and Beejay almost fell prey to the venomous wagging tongues.
As the other contestants patiently waiting their turns, some were seen rehearsing their responses; some visibly remolding their composure, while some perhaps armed with faith, seen dossing off. It was already turning dewy after all, and the atmosphere indeed inducing sleep.
However, that was not a case for the ever alerted audience. Not even when the atmosphere was cognitively stimulating, intellectually impacting and nervously tendering. The designated supporters’ arena also shared from lit moment.
A ten-minute break was announced just after the panel dealed with the aspirants of Public Relation Officer. Three Contestants, viz: Mr Intellect from the faculty of engineering, Mr Lanky from Law and Mr Heafhay from management succumbing to fate, had solemnly walked to the raised platform. Their knowledge of the functionality of the office for which they are vying was tested. Prodigiously one would feel judging from their responses to some of the questions. Interesting moment it was for the motivated audience.
Two gents purchased form for the office of welfare secretary for the college of health sciences, CoHS as It’s fondly called. How well these classic men know about this office and how best they can perform when saddled with the affairs of welfaring their colleagues formed the basics of interrogation by the panel.
Welfarism of the students of the permanent site came up after that of CoHS’s. Gunning for the office saddled with this responsibility are five students. Two from Social Sciences, HayBee and Optimist; one each from Engineering, Agriculture Physical Sciences, that is in person of Mr Unity, Mr Unique and Mr Viktor, respectively.
Poseur Princely X and his lieutnants befogged these aspirants constructively until the best and worse amongst them were made obvious to the emotional shrinking audience. This session offered a great deal of comic relief.
Next to the discussion on welfarism was a moment of applause for the man called FARYAN. Faryan and his contender, Lanre Gold are the aspirants for the position of financial Secretary. Two two vibrant students stood gallantly against every poser thrown to them. However Mr lanre Gold, the man of God as the panelists would love to call him, fell slightly short of financial technicality compare to stoutness, adroitness and conciseness that characterised most of Faryan’s responses.
Assistant General Secretary position has a set of two beauty and brainy ladies. By standard, anyone who witnessed this session and had no pre allegiance to either would find it difficult to choose who has his or her thumb. Their application of diplomacy in engaging the spontaneous poser thrown at them marked the duo out as the outstanding contenders of the year.
Miss Tracy and Miss Annie, unarguably sent strong chill to the spines of the panel. They would definitely prove hard to crack at the point of awarding grade for their exceptional performances. Some opinions suggest the duo understand the job descriptions for the office they are vying to deputise better than those vying for it.
Supportively, the congressmen’s melodious protest song that stroke the moisten atmosphere during the interview session for the position of the General Secretary gives credence to the opinions of the people. Some summit that the crop of the aspirants for the position of General Secretary should be the ones vying for the office Annie and her contender, Tracy, are gunning for. This decision is however solely the responsibility of the electorates. All we can do now is to wait until the clock ticks Tuesday.
Position of the vice presidency brought to life by the current occupant of the office. K.B as she’s fondly called has opened the flesh and bone of the position and now it’s a toast of interest to all. Ms KB’s achievements underscores the importance and the power in that office. Perchance, this, amongst other reasons informed the decision of the crop of aspirants aiming to seat where KB is about to stand.
The current Clark of the students’ union senate council from the faculty of education, Ms Teemah, Ms Oracle from the faculty of engineering, and Ms Sheedah from the Arts, are the contenders for this coveted seat. Interestingly, College of Health Sciences, produces a sole candidate.
If only the panelists would show signs of leniency to these young women, the intensity this session brought would have completely sent many to the dreamland. So to keep the scene illuminated, someone must turns up the heat, and this the panelists did to the highest volume. Except simple looking Teemah and Ms Sheedah who were able to mutter enough defense stemming from perhaps their experiences gained in the school political activities so far, others – Ms Oracle and the Ms Mariam were left unbalanced as result of the missiles of questions from the panelists.
By the time Princely X and his lieutenants finished with the aspirants for the office of vice presidency, a launched was made into the antecedences of the aspirants for the number one seat of the students’ union. It was already 5.17am of Saturday at the time.