Thursday, 6 February 2014

FUTO Politics: A Dirty Game??

This is not the best time to make a blog post. Not when I am so angry and bitter for the things happening around me. I just hope I will be able to write something coherent in this state.

Ever since I entered the university I have shown particular interest in student unionism. I have always followed the activities of the SUG even when my friends see it as not being worthwhile. At some time I even contemplated running for one position or the other, but with the events that happened today coupled with that of last year I feel so bad to associate myself with this whole sham. Continue reading to understand while I said so.

The Students Union Government election has always been something I look forward to. This year’s own has not been an exception. While some of my mates are already at home savoring the ‘little’ one week the university gave us to prepare for the new academic year, I have been busy running to one aspirant or the other, collecting their manifestoes and publishing on The-Infoscope. It was a work that gave me fulfillment and purpose. I was part of a process that involves me directly as a student and which will in the long run determine how well I will enjoy my stay here in FUTO.

After months of campaign by the aspirants, the final list of contestants was released today and the shock that followed that release orchestrated this write-up. Two presidential candidates were screened out and amongst this two is Uchenna; a strong contender for the office and a nightmare to other aspirants. They weren’t screened out because they were incompetent but because they were stubborn. Stubborn to accept the fact that the position of President, SUG is an exclusive reserve of Imolites. I have gone through the SUG constitution severally in an attempt to find where it was stated emphatically that SUG presidents must come from Imo state. I am still searching and I’ve not found. Before my very own eyes I saw merit and competency being murdered on the altar of indigeneity. I ask again, when did ‘state of origin’ become such a powerful factor that any other thing can be sacrificed. If this practice could be tolerated in state owned universities, that cannot be said of FUTO; a federal university. Whoever thinks it’s justified to rate candidates by their state of origin is disillusioned and shallow minded. I did a little research on the US governors and I discovered that 21 out of the 50 incumbent governors were born outside the state they are currently serving. They considered competency!

As I was bemoaning the faith of these two guys and some others who were disqualified because their opponents had fatter pockets, another self-ordained student stakeholder approached me with an offer; join the campaign team of an aspirant and be paid N400. If I was the violent type that fellow would have been cooling his feet at the FUTO medicals. It took a lot of self discipline for me to politely reject the offer. Even if I am ready to trade my conscience for money, N400 wouldn’t do. My fear however is that a good number of students took the offer.

Come tomorrow, I will solemnly go to the polling booth, exercise my franchise as a bona fide student and wait patiently for someone to come to my face and complain of one misdoing or the other from the SUG and I will be quick to remind him or her of Thabo Mbeki’s verdict on Nigerians; “Nigerians deserve the leaders they get”.

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