“Three things cannot be long hidden. The sun, the moon and the truth”- Dalai Lama_
I must break a long silence on Union issues. I do break this silence more out of a constitutional and moral obligation to my constituents than out of a personal reason to do so, left to me, I want to remain in my shell. “Has the President been impeached?”. I need to answer this question for the inactive people whose contact with the Union is only through news and rumors.
I must state that plenty waters have previously passed under the bridge. Angola bonfire where those boys were attacked by the President using some of the same persons sighted on the night of the November 1 attack when he claimed Angolans did not inform him before holding bonfire, the bus scandal where he spent well over 2mllion without informing the parliament till we suddenly saw a tomato bus, the security committee refusing to appear before the parliament and not even constituted at congress, removing the speaker at a congress using one doctored submission, refusing to carry out congressional resolution that tod him to write an apology letter and sponsor a newspaper advertorial, implicating student activists when they protested and claiming they were “kangaroo”, becoming inactive about the reinstatement of OAU4, inflated budget proposals, evacuation of SUB traders, the disgraceful event in the office that led to bottle breaking during the unconstitutional and undemocratic meeting he called, refusing to hand over the keys of the bus despite a resolution, escaping congresses when other issues are to be discussed.
The water that brought the bridge down flowed fast on November 1, 2017.
Oyekan Ibukun seemed under a natural affliction. The end of one problem was the beginning of another. During his tenure, he would commit one aberration and get away with it out of pity, faculty sentiment, politics of monetisation and such. But as soon as the coast was clear, he would plunge into another by his own will and purpose. His matter might arise or have arisen from pulling the hands of nature and the forces that govern it at a point. I will not say further on this.
First, the Union constitution provides that impeachment can be carried out through two-third of members present and voting at a sitting provided quorum is formed. Quorum is 50. One-third of the total number of 150 honourables. Thus, the question is “was quorum formed?” Yes, it was. More than 50 participated in the sitting which has been publicised for more than a week. Two-third of the number of people present at that sitting is 34. Which was surpassed. No Honourable had any excuse for leaving or not attending the sitting.
The principle of law that was allegedly violated is “audi alteram patem”. Oyekan Ibukun never gave his side of the story except through cowardly and faceless narratives. But then, there are two perspectives to introduce at this point. The initial being the doctrine of strict liability. The Union bus was used in conveying these persons. The custodian of the bus is the Secretary General and the President. They are liable in law for what the bus was used for which in this case was the transportation of dubious and violent persona that I do not want for lack of evidence to describe outright as ‘cultists’. They also came and acted in the interest of the President by disrupting the sitting and attacking his perceived and known opponents only along with innocent passersby l which created vicarious liability. Again, the law is clear- if you are meant to avail yourself at a place and present your defence but you decide to keep quiet, the court will take a decision acting on the other narrative. The decision of Oyekan Ibukun not to appear at the sitting and talk was his own undoing. It was also politically incorrect because some persons might not even have voted out of the mere fact that he would see their hands and they would have shy away from ‘eating his eyes’. The Union constitution again provides that any person who absents himself from a sitting without notice or reasonable excuse will have his seat declared vacant(this provision is rarely or never used).
The emerging argument again is -Can 37 people rewrite the wishes of 2400+ students in the election? Yes! In Oyo state, when Rasheed Adewolu Ladoja was to be booted out. State parliamentarians who voted for it were about 30 or so. Thus, it is a democratic principle that parliament addresses developments after emergence which the larger electorate may either be uninterested or may be unable to voice their wishes. Therefore, impeachment in that term is correct except we delve into the larger argument of the consistency of democracy and the pillars of parliamentary correction.
The President again argues that the Speaker went to Abuja on an unratified trip. This is mere name calling and even a diversion from the argument. The President intends to paint his perceived opponents as bad people. A strategy he used against me severally but which always met its failure when he claimed I wanted bedspace which was a most ridiculous insinuation because I never ever even attempted getting one, his cronies also released other such articles against my person. The same strategy he is employing against the Speaker and Clerk arguing the left want to remove them. One million leftists cannot remove a Speaker. He is safeguarded by the constitution such that the only threat to him is the Vice Chancellor and the Congress. Tosdam the clerk is also a fearless person and I am certain he had no deal to threaten him.
Oyekan Ibukun does the same thing over and over and expects a different result. The Summit Committee was set up by the parliament. When they were set up, were they set up to cut grass or buy paper? They were set up to organise what they did and have done. Thus, the legislature already gave them their mandate to act and travel earlier. I did not go to Abuja myself, I was offered but I was having health challenges and I also had personal differences such as ideology which held me back. But I do not condemn those that did EXCEPT they were funded before the trip or after it by an anti-student individual, organisation or body. The Speaker claims apart from the reason of Summit that he went to Abuja to externalise the struggle for reinstatement of OAU4. Traditionally, external struggles are usually taken to Lagos or Ibadan. The Abuja story is not mine to tell.
The President argues again that he was not investigated. I have said earlier that he did not avail himself for the sitting and he cannot hold the Union to ransom. Also, the sitting took eyewitness accounts from people who were attacked and beaten. Pictures of the attack were circulated. People who sighted the bus came out and gave their narrative that it brought elements with cane on campus who beat known opponents of Dr. IBK and then scurried away in that same bus.
The arguments of the President are towards dividing students to believe he is not impeached. This is why my friends, the impeachment must be enforced and he must be made to understand he has been impeached. I am against any sentiment of hatred against his person at this point. But what we do defines who we are!
I have severally taken a mild position against his impeachment. I have in time past when he committed errors asked for suspension instead. It is my firm believe that we should not take student politics too far. However, Oyekan Ibukun broke this “Geneva convention” that regulated my relations with him when he made an outright and open attempt on our lives. Anyone of us could have been killed. I was at that sitting and it is not propaganda that it ended with imported violence. It is not! Oyekan Ibukun was the first to take the politics too far. Did you want to kill us at that sitting?
All constitutional requirements were met. Quorum was formed. Two-third was available. Notice was signed by 150 students.
I do not pray to be in his shoes at this moment. But every time I feel pity for him, I remember the times I had to pull him out of possible mobs which except he intends to lie again will deny. I remember when at a congress, someone alleged he had given me money because I was telling them to leave the stage and let him continue to preside. I remember now even the night of November 1 after the attack on SUB when he pretended to have fainted and I was begging that he should he taken to Health Centre. I suspected he had not fainted! I hoped in my mind that he would at least go and receive treatment. I was mad at him that night but one thing he never realised till the end of his tenure was that I never ever wanted his downfall. I even feared that following him, the next President might be worse. I combined the extremities of disgust and pity for him.
However, Oyekan Ibukun kept coming again. He seemed to feed on errors and mistakes. He seemed to have a bloated feeling of self. He had an ego. He was a “this is my stand and nothing can change it” person on even the most trivial matters. For instance, he bought the bus hoping by some magic and luck, he would achieve his 13 buses manifesto and Union hostel manifesto. See, if at anytime a manifesto becomes impossible. A leader must tell the people “I want to do this. I have tried to do this. This and this is why it is not working and can not work”. A leader must also not promise impossibility. Emergence is not the entire concept of contesting. Oyekan Ibukun loved shortcuts and had a stubborn untreatable desire to be right. He also made enemies of potential friends. I went to his office five times for a discussion when issues came up before I went public and on all five times, he either told me ” I am busy” when he was busy pressing a phone. One found no way to reach a rational conclusion with him.
I even offered to chat with him on WhatsApp and he replied with “I only chat with FynestBOI(his Secretary General) on WhatsApp”. I wish those discussions held because for the rest of his life, he would remember me as an antagonist when really, I was his friend on the other side. He never saw the good in all our suggestions and arguments. Everything to him was “enemy” and “opposition”. He threatened me on an occasion openly.
His exit from office does not bring me jubilation. It brings me a specimen of errors a leader must carefully avoid.
I use this article if he reads it to offer him a hand of friendship in his emotional recovery. If possible in future, we may work together too as long as ideas and methods align. But with all sense of sincerity, he brought himself to where he is. I advise him as a last advice to the President not to sink deeper in the mud. He should stop fighting it or would lose even the last thread of his popularity. Awo Hall went up in jubilation yesterday and I seemed unhappy that the Union reached the stage. I have spoken with those who were his core loyalists and they all accept his fate as his fate. He should stop holding to this thread of confusion and division.
He has been impeached. My friends, it is not our joy. But ” cultism”, we must keep it out. We don’t play politics with violence and violence with politics. The moment he introduced violence, he was irrecoverable. He became the prodigal that could not come back.
He has been impeached.
Koye-Ladele Mofehintoluwa is a Parliamentarian Representing Faculty of Law and Member, Budgetary and Finance Commission.