By OSUJI, Chima Francis
April 3rd, 2018.
I have monitored the activities of the SU PRO for some time now, and after a painstaking assessment, I’ve come to the conclusion that the office holder is an accident of history in our Union.
I speak of MYT, the Unilorin SU Public Relations Officer. He seems to be more interested in his personal PR niche —MTY PR — than addressing the core of his duties as the image maker of the Student Union. I thought it was a question of accepting or taking people for what they are, but as it stands, MYT’s case, for an objective observer and critical mind, is capable of undermining the Union’s image.
First, it is appalling to note that no single memo was issued by the Student Union felicitating with the Christian faithfuls among the student populace on the just concluded Easter celebrations. Rather, social media platforms were awash with his personal business posts and his usual watery announcements unrelated to Easter.
Like seriously, is this the promise he made to always put the Union first during his Oath taking ceremony? Is this what he truly meant by putting the interest of members of the Union first, over and above his? Is that his own definition of public service?
I consider such action irresponsible, negligent, and insensitive, especially coming from the kind of office MYT occupies. I believe nothing should prevent a public officer from pursuing personal projects while occupying public office. However, such business project should not take centre stage in the public eye or in the scheme of things. That’s exactly what many have noticed with the SU PRO. The earlier he strikes a balance between his official duty and personal business, the better for the Union.
Recently, some members of our Union did us proud by winning laurels at different national summits in Nigeria. Upon their return to school, no mention of that was made by the Union. And guess what? When MYT was contacted about it, all he had to say was, the winners in question did not “officially” inform the Union about it, and as such, there was nothing he could do in that respect. You can imagine such response from a public servant.
He was quick to compare a certain student organization on campus, who, according to him, carries the Union along on its activity. And that, whenever they win any trophy, the Union would do the needful by announcing same to members of the university community.
Unfortunately, MYT seems to have forgotten the antecedence of the group in question in terms of their relationship with the Student Union. For the purpose of record, the Student Union have been known, in recent times, to be the benefactor to some student bodies in terms of sponsorship. This answers the clueless response of the SU PRO in his failure to discharge his duty without bias and prejudice.
My question to MYT: do members of the Union need to observe ‘protocol’ in order to have their achievements communicated to the university community? Is that the kind of PR you promised during your electioneering campaign when you were rallying support for your ambition? Oh, now that you’ve achieved your ambition, members of the Union must ‘officially’ inform you of their achievements that you’re privy to ab initio? Your action simply connotes the corruptibility of power and its potency to self-destruct if left unchecked.
In fact, how did we get to this level of red-tape styled administration championed by a bureaucratic Central Executive Council of the Student Union? How did we get to this level of mediocrity and loose oversight to checkmate public servants like MYT?
The feats in question are not ordinary; these Unilorin students had to outperform their counterparts in other schools to win the awards. Well, whether you recognize them or not, they don’t need your approval or officious attitude to lift the banner of their alma mater high.
MYT is busy observing protocol, yet the Senate President has personally congratulated some of these distinguished Unilorites via phone calls and on social media. MYT is busy observing protocol, yet the SU President has personally extended a kind gesture to these Unilorites who are making our alma mater proud. In fact, it clearly shows how disunited the CEC structure is. Why? Because the SU President is doing a thing, while MYT seems to be doing another that seems incongruent to the overall goal of the President. Or, do Christian students need inform him “officially” before issuing a press release to felicitate with them? Was the same thing applicable during the Eid festivity?
MYT’s recent activity simply makes nonsense of the so-called ‘Together-We-Can” administration. In fact, an objective observer can easily distil the harsh tone usually deployed in the Union’s posts on social media as issued by the SU PRO. Asides the usual legion of grammatical errors, the voice is almost always suggestive of a sovereign passing instruction to his subordinates.
Mr MYT, please change the tone of your posts. Address Unilorites with respect because they are the true sovereign and the ephemeral power you’re wielding right now, actually belongs to them. Rather than conducting investigation on those allegedly impersonating the Union, you may as well channel that energy to something more productive. Under your watch, members of the Union have seen so many disclaimers. The question is, why?
Stop chasing shadows. Without the Union, most of you won’t find yourselves occupying public office. Address students with an air of humility and respect, and cut out the arrogance. Stop the blame game and take responsibility. Politics and politicking is not everything.
And as for MYT PR, it’s a good initiative. However, it’s important for Union leaders to always put the Union first!