_“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends._- Martin Luther King, Jr.
It would interest anyone to have posited that the problem of our union is the central executive council, some would even say it is the university administration. Well, they are both correct! But has anyone also thought of the more arm rendered on the union by members of this parliament?
The SRC is supposed to be the most critical arm of the union being the legislative organ. But if we ruminate over events that have transpired and the atrocities committed by the executives of this union since inception of the administration, we all have seen how dangerously detrimental the positions of the SRC have been. From the criminal aberration committed by the President in the purchase of Bus without knowledge of the parliament especially at a duping sum of #2.5 million naira, the bus is now worthless and has become a liability ,in fact, it is currently under budget consideration to repair it with about half a million naira, such an impeachable offense that was swept under carpets by the SRC’s political shenanigans; the CEC fought themselves hard led by the president over secret #3.8 million naira received which was undisclosed to the students nor the parliament until the disgraceful fight which exposed them and landed some of them in the hospital, this, the parliament has not openly dealt with till today; a president running away from congresses and imposing his will on even the parliament and students, showing his superiority over the 150 members of the SRC elected by thousands of students to defend their interest, the SRC has not been deemed it fit to deal with such person except until tomorrow when they will; over eight students have been despotically victimized by the university administration for voicing against corruption and anti-students policies of the university, they were arrested and suspended from the university because the union executives disconnected themselves from, condemned the students’ actions and exposed them to such victimizations from the university administration. _Where is and what has been the position of the union parliament?_
How disheartening it is that with all of these spates of attacks meted on students, the leadership of the parliament, who rather than summoning sittings to consistently review or take steps on the suspension and welfare of students, could be rather swift to call for sitting to ratify millions of naira budgeted for the frivolous spending of this same set of irresponsible union leaders. Little do we wonder when the SRC speaker himself had hundreds of thousands budgeted for himself to include thousands of naira for his phone data subscription. The union parliament has so much degenerated to the point that, despite the pressure on them by students to include the state of the union particularly the reinstatement approach of the suspended students in the agenda before their much coveted budget discussion, honorable members of the SRC were seen depressed and unwilling to discuss the reinstatement still. In fact, as it stands, no tactical approach nor resolution was reached on the agendum despite the show of levity by the CEC with suspension of the students whose academics are currently under halt and their future at stake. It is more shocking to see how all honorable members of the SRC including its leadership, the speaker, the deputy and the clerk became very much hyperactive at the point of discussing and passing ridiculous and outrageous budget for their respective offices and requesting for feeding allowance in parliamentary sittings while some students wallow in the pool of rustications. What a union of students!
Without engaging much in the sophisticated inept character of these elements that has become a conspiracy against the majority of students by the union executives, the SRC and the Ogunbodede led despotic university administration, just like father like sons, it is glaring that students are in deep attacks until we take the bull by the horn. The action committee set up by the congress to facilitate the reinstatement of the students has tactically been altered by the union executives to sideline the congressmen in the committee in order to avoid their ineptitude being exposed. This is the reason why till today, efforts of the action committee to meet has been frustrated by both the CEC and SRC leadership comprised in the committee. For these reasons, nothing tangible has been done except for a single press conference that the union PRO celebrated himself with at the sitting as something of world class as he uttered, and appeared spectacular to him that he has never done before because it seemed new to some of them as union officers. However commendable, such press briefing is a mere political action which would not reinstate our students until it is backed up with legal action. The union executives only came to give reports of their photo shoot with lawyers, those of whom they claimed have promised to assist them, but they have never filed a case, we can only wait forever for them to redeem their pledge! We should begin to wonder whether the congress asked the CEC to go and beg for assistance or rather, to take up legal action by filing a case against the university administration. Unfortunately, such consistent political and legal actions are what we expected any serious SRC and CEC to budget the union funds for rather than budgets of welfare packages and feeding allowances for inept union leaders in which the backward SRC is interested in. GREAT IFE students, ours is not to lament but to understand and proffer way forwards, according to Spinoza. For these reasons, students must begin to mount unending pressures on these union officers until they do the needful to save our students. Students must demand either for consistent parliamentary sittings or congresses for the action committee to always give reports and review their actions so far until victory is ascertained for students against victimizations and poor policies. Students must rise, our actions and inactions will determine the fate of our victimized colleagues as well as the union and the future of generations to come.
We shall overcome!
Oloniniran Gbenga is the Pro tem Coordinator of the Save Our Union Campaign