By Segun Ogunlade

Sometimes ago, I was at  Wole Soyinka Arts Theatre to see  this year’s edition of Armoury Words, a special oratory contest organised by Sultan Bello Hall Literary and Debating Society. From my judgement, it was a good show and I didn’t regret going there that fateful Saturday. It gladdened my heart as punchlines hit punchlines and there was an eruption of ecstasy in the crowd.

The point of this story is the conversation I had with the young man that sat next to me. After listening to my boastful talk about being an Afasite with disdain, he pointed out to me that none of the ten speakers for the inter-hall contest was from faculty of Arts where there are departments of English and Communication and Language Arts where there is CLA 103. After checking, I was persuaded to believe him. When I wanted to defend our speakers for not speaking for their halls of residence, he quickly added that he didn’t know what we were good at. This was around the time that the General Secretary was suspended for his inability to write a letter amidst other shortcomings. I was even more disappointed when he said we were not good at anything in this association, including electing good candidates into executive positions. Even though this claim was not true in its entirety, I couldn’t argue with him any further. Much is to be said about this young man’s allegations especially as it concerns the calibre of people occupying elective positions in this association. However, I wish I could see that young man again to tell him our faculty is now in the quarter-finals of this year’s Jaw War. Apart from that, it is succinct to say we don’t have the best of hands and heads running this association when the stewardship of the current executive members is placed under the lens of logical and objective scrutiny.

Sometimes last semester, it was reported that the Faculty Legislative Council was planning to organise a quiz competition for Afasites. Even though this is an attempt to boost their reputation, increase the awareness about the activities of the honourable members on the floor of the “hallowed chamber” which they had hitherto lacked to a large extent and is way out of their constitutional duties, they deserve some accolades for coming up with such an idea. After all, what the executive members have never conceived is what the leadership of the house had conceived. Alongside this, there is also a planned leadership summit that would feature some prominent members of the society. Last semester too, it is worth mentioning that a former Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Rt. Honourable Kehinde Ayoola, and ace broadcaster, Emma Jimo, were invited to talk to the honourable members on leadership.

 One would have thought that since the time it was mentioned that the FLC was putting up an event like this the executive would have learnt to take initiative and prove all of their critics wrong that they truly mean business. Sadly, they have not. In fact, to further show the failing of Isaac Lijadu and his team, the Council of Presidents and Secretaries (CPS) had declared its intention to organise a seminar on arts and tradition in collaboration with Institute of African Studies. Again, this seminar if successful would contribute to the intellectual development of Afasites. Even though these programmes are still in the pipe,  we could be assured of their success because of the  seriousness  with which  the leadership of those organs go about their respective businesses. Questions plans the executive members have for us. Last semester was from my personal judgement the most boring I have witnessed in my stay in this faculty. 

Many things have been said about this Lijadu-led administration. One of them is that our association possesses an executive of inactive and incompetent members and another is that the current members of the executive are faceless and nameless like many of the current federal ministers. If they’re not truly inactive, why would they open their eyes and watch with unremorseful faces both the FLC and CPS do what they are supposed to do? The administrations I have witnessed in this faculty are led by pragmatic people even though they are not in any way perfect. We are already in the sixth week in the semester and the faculty is still boring as it was last semester. This, for me, is a pointer to a ‘not-good-ending’ for this administration if it doesn’t take a cue from where successes were recorded for past administrations. 

The Social Director should be reminded he said he would take students from the departments of English and Communication and Language Arts to a radio station so they could further develop their trade when he was campaigning for vote last session. He also promised to organise a talent show where Afasites with skills, especially musical, could show their talents. Let him be reminded that we have not forgotten any of these promises. He must hold true to his promises on which back he rode to the office. 

The Director of Sports should also be reminded that money has been approved for his office for the purchase of some outdoor games such as ludo and ayo olopon which Afasites can play on Fridays when their hands are down. As it would be said on the streets, no be every time person dey dey serious meaning all work without play makes Jack a dull boy. This time last session, a table tennis board was conspicuously placed in the quadrangle, one that Afasites played with gaiety on Fridays. All these games are needed to bring back the life of the quadrangle which had hitherto been dead. 

To the General Secretary, I could only ask if he has completed his lessons on letter writing so that he would no longer be caught in the web of inability to write good letters to members of the hallowed chamber. This question is not to question the intelligence of the General of Secretary but to forestall the kind of controversies that trails his suspension last semester. It is a good thing he has been reinstated but it would be a better thing for him and his defenders if he had learnt his lessons. 

And to the man at the helms of affairs, he should be reminded that we are not seeing Afasites working functionality together in any way. He still has the time to make things work and tell the people under him to work on fulfilling their promises. Moreover, he and his team should come with good programmes for Afasites so we would not bite our fingers for electing them. Experience has shown second semester runs faster than the first. By the time this month folds up, we would be counting weeks to second semester examination. The closer events are to be the examination period, the slimmer their chances of being successful. By that time, many people would want to piece their lecture notes together so they could make something out of the exams. Is that the time Lijadu and his team would start running from pillar to post trying to salvage their tenure by organising events that might be poorly attended? This is a wakeup call to members of the executive that they should wake up and brace up for time waits for no man. I don’t know how or when they are going to cook up some programmes like the FLC and CPS. But I want to cut them some slack and hope they would wake up from their slumber. It is true that many of us might not fare any better than they have, but that is not the issue now. They have promised to serve and they must keep to their words. Let me end here for now with the hope that members of the executive will hear what is being said and do what is required of them and wake up from their slumber. 


Before I go, let me commend the leadership of the executive CPS for inaugurating the AFAS Independent Electoral Committee as contained in Article 41 section 1 of AFAS Constitution. This is against what we had last session when the inauguration was delayed till the eleventh week. This is an example of an organ that is working. With the inauguration, the time for lifting the ban on electoral activities in the faculty is near.

What follows the lifting this inauguration is the season of famzers, sudden greetings and unending handshakes in and around the quadrangle. All these might be new to the new students. But to us that have been around for some time, we are used to them. Some have started already but they are still doing it under the shadows. Already there is a poster at the quadrangle of an Afasite that mean business. Second semester is always full of activities. Election has a chief seat among the events for this semester. Here are some of the signs to watch out for as the electoral committee is now in place and the ban on electoral activities would be lifted in the coming days. 

This season is filled with famzers. As the semester progresses on its heels, don’t be surprised if you see an unknown guy or lady asking you about your lectures, your health and general wellbeing. It is not as if they care about that much, it is the election that has made it so. After the election, this same people would step on your toes and they might not turn around to say sorry. This is irrespective of whether they win or not. Never should you take these people serious until after the election and they still care about you. 

A time will come in this semester that you would see that pompous young man or lady in your department, hall or fellowship greeting you with a smiling face at the entrance to the faculty. Take heed not to take that for natural humility that comes with the new semester. Experience has shown us that such humility vanishes immediately the whole electioneering is over. Verily, such sudden display of humility that has been missing since the beginning of the session is an attempt to market him or herself to you so as to secure your vote. I am not saying a pompous person cannot be a good leader, but for you to not cry foul when the same lady or guy refused to greet you after the election.

This season too, when you see that guy that doesn’t greet you or you have never seen before complementing your hair even in its rough state and calling your face beautiful without the usual make over, such compliments don’t come for nothing. Very few men around here compliment women about how beautiful and attractive they appear without some hidden motives. I am not saying our guys are all bad; it is not really our thing to tell a woman she is beautiful for no reason lying under such remarks. 

In this season too, some unnecessary attentions usually fly around the quadrangle. You can sit somewhere quiet and people would be coming to shake hands with you. The guys should prepare themselves for unending handshakes and the ladies undeserved hugs in the quadrangle and the corridors of the various departments.  Also, there would be numerous unsolicited “follow-waka about.” Many of the male aspirants would be willing to follow you all the way to your apartment along Imo Road and would not mind the distance between Kenneth Mellanby Hall and Obafemi Awolowo hall and Queen Idia Hall. Ladies in Queens Hall might not get these people after them because that hostel is a stone throw from the faculty. But there is no way this would not happen. If not for the indignation that might follow a guy helping a lady with her bag, many would be willing to do that so they could appear good and secure vote when the election comes. That is one of the beauties of this season. Election in this faculty and everywhere around here makes some people appear good. But we would not be moved by any of these in a way that would make us make the wrong choice when the time comes. For now, let us enjoy the beauty of the season as they unfold one after the other.

Until another time that I would write about what is going on around the faculty, 

Have a great week ahead.


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