When the gates of Hades closed for the 2017/18 Unilorin SU administration, hope was birthed in the hearts of over 35,000 students of the University of Ilorin. Like Celine Dion sang, a new day has come. With this new day however comes fears and worries. What if the incumbent will spend the session blaming their predecessor? What if they altogether just don’t care? What if in trying not to fail, they fail?
The University of Ilorin Community spent parts of the 2017/18 mourning, From maladministration, to missing colleagues (attempts inclusive), and the deaths that have casted a gloomy shadow over our hearts. Moving forward is certain, but we must also remember to look at this very recent past of ours. We need to pay homage to our comrades who couldn’t make it to the end. If prayer shall give peace to our individual hearts, then pray we shall do. But in looking back, we must also look forward. Because the future is now.
In looking forward, we must take small steps on the moon of collective responsibilities. To with, we must operate in togetherness. The IIP administration has shown a sign of intelligent life in the aspect of communication. They’ve, for the first time, activated Social Media in order to hasten communication channels, and it is not just WhatsApp this time around. With immediate, instant, fast and prompt access to information, there will be reduced casualties in times of dire needs and emergencies. There was a bee invasion sometimes last session, with an honestly moderate casualty rate because of propmt information by other students, to the SU’s basket of achievements, there were also cases of missed exams, late information on Add and Drop, because the SU was more focused on “heated arguments with the University” than immediate information dissemination. But let’s not take the light away from what is important at this moment. The past is a lesson that should either be avoided or improved on. Thus, the IIP administration should not be the Hare that starts a race against a Tortoise, but decides to sleep midway because it feels it will recover. There is no time to relax. Let the fire of information burn throughout the session.
In moving forward, we must also establish easier communication channels with important directorates, departments, and organs that make the University. The Press Conference gives an avenue for actualizing this, but also in progressing, they should be room for assessments. The VC may not know what the wards at the Clinic are like, because he may never even enter those white walls unless say, on courtesy visits. But the students do. Assessments should not be done only by the warm hearted Director of the Unilorin Health Services, but should include a means for students to access the staff; Having visible name tags (because we can’t tell a staff to drop their ID cards) for important departments and units, should be considered. This would have made a good suggestion at the Press Conference, but the world moves fast, and another asteroid could hit earth before then. Simply put, we need to be able to hold staff accountable too and also be able to report staff misconduct without discrimination. I believe that the ever understanding Prof. Ajibade, Dean of Students Affairs, will be willing to listen and consider this.
The IIP administration must however not fall prey to constitutional name tags that separates them. While the AGS might be deputy to the GS, they have individual and collective responsibilities. And this should be the conduct of all members of the council. To work together. In the most ironic and least expected fashion, lack of cohesion was a primary bane of the Reedof led “Together we can” administration. Learn. As a quick flashback to recent timeline of events, it would come as suggestion to the Welfare Secretary and the rest of the cabinet to look into recent misfortunes, investigate them and proffer ways to avoid future casualties. Remember always, it’s a collective duty.
In the grand scheme of things, it is important to remind the IIP administration that the press never forgets; Therefore, it would be desirable that the constitutional expectations and manifesto promises are treated with religiosity. We (the Union) hope for brighter days; learning from the errors of the past, and working together towards a better union.
In being busy with progress dearest colleagues, remember also that life is transient, but not existence. Fail or succeed, the stories will be told.
Long live the good people of University of Ilorin,
Long live the Union,
Long live our existences.
Akinyemi “Princely X” Adedeji is an award winning creative writer, journalist, and social media commentator. You can reach him via email@example.com.