The Observer

Every observant member of the association would have noticed that the Association has been cast in troubled water since the session started in June. This current session seems to be the most troubled in recent times. The Faculty Legislative Council (FLC) formerly headed by Peter Olagunju and now Rt. Honourable Olumide Osinuga has particularly been at loggerheads with members of the council.

The two most prominent organs of the Association have always had history of deep feud. But this session, the feud has taken another dimension. More than ever before, the Faculty management now have more influence on matters regarding the Association. Because the Faculty management now has watches over the affairs of the Association as the FLC and members of the executive council always have reasons to get into trouble with each other, even on mundane issues, the Association is not in any way better for it.

The frequent intervention of the Faculty management in the affairs of the Association has rendered the FLC a toothless bulldog at best. The hallowed chamber that always pride itself as the most powerful of all the organs in the Association has proven itself to be incapable of making sound decisions since the days of Peter Olagunju who infamously resigned as the Speaker of the FLC. Since I have been in the faculty, never before have I seen the Faculty management reversed any major decision of the FLC. For example, the Association’s President, Adeoye Adejare, was suspended during the 2015/2016 session; the Public Relations Officer of the Association, Bayo Badmus, and the Clerk of the FLC, Ayo Oyekanmi, were both impeached during the 2016/2017 session; the Association’s President, Isaac Lijadu, was suspended indefinitely and subsequently impeached during the 2017/2018 session with the General Secretary, Tijani Selim, the Treasurer, Kiibati Elebute, and the Assistant General Secretary, Moses Aderemi, all suspended at one time or the other too. Yet, none of these decisions were reversed by the Faculty management. Those were the days when the FLC go to battle and win without the fear of their victory being overturned by anybody within the Faculty. These days, the FLC has its power in approving budget only. Other things, particularly the suspension and impeachment of any members of the executive council, which are the two actions the FLC always prides itself in, are now subjected to the Faculty management.
One could then ask what went wrong with the current FLC that has made it a shadow of itself. Two answers immediately come to mind. The first is the needless battle about the usage of the secretariat in July.

At the time, Peter Olagunju and other members of the FLC wanted the executive council to vacate the inner chamber of the secretariat for them. Never before has such order being given for the executive council needs the inner chamber more than any other arm of the Association and such order is erratic at best. The FLC claim about the sanctity of the secretariat being violated holds true at all times. Yet, the decision to send members of the executive council packing from the inner chamber was not the best way to address the issue. The Faculty management intervened and the decision of the FLC was overruled.

Second, when the Olagunju-led FLC decided to impeach the Association’s President, Daniel Anagwaonye, in August, the decision didn’t go well with many members of the Association who are informed about the path that impeachment processes toe. The President was impeached, according to the former Spokesperson and former member of the FLC, Michael Itiolu, because he was unruly in that he walked out on members of the hallowed chamber. That was sacrilegious and for them, such action could only be met with outright impeachment with no recluse to the Constitution on what makes an officer of the Association stands removed from office. The impeachment was met with serious protest from his supporters. The Faculty management intervened and the decision was again reversed, alongside the impeachment of the then former Deputy Speaker and now Speaker of the FLC, Rt. Honourable Olumide Osinuga.

From the day the decisions were overridden by the Dean’s proclamation of peace, the fortune of the FLC has changed. The intervention of the Dean in the affairs of the Association only sealed the fate of the FLC as a toothless bulldog. Now, all reports and recommendations of the Audit and Investigative Committees of the Association are now subjected to the Faculty management and the latter could discard it if it wishes to do so. This has serious implications for the future of the FLC. One, the decision of the Faculty management to subject reports and recommendations of the Audit and Investigative Committees to further deliberations means the FLC is incapable of making decisions without tampering with the Association’s peace as the two events cited above had shown and could not be trusted with its own judgement. Two, the FLC and its leadership need to prove beyond doubt that the house is capable of making independent decisions that are neither incapable of shattering the peace of the Association nor laced with personal sentiments as some current events in the FLC have shown some members of the FLC to be nursing personal vendetta against some individuals in the executive council. Three, the sanctity of the house is now being constantly violated by some individuals in the executive council and without fear since the Dean had said he didn’t want to hear any news relating to the suspension or impeachment of anybody.

This current state of the FLC was brought about by its members on themselves. No matter how much the Olumide Osinuga-led FLC now tries to redeem its image and emerge from the miry clay that the decisions made under Peter Olagunju as its Speaker puts it, the truth remains that the FLC is no longer as revered as it used to be. Although one could continually blame Peter Olagunju’s style of leadership, which almost led to the dissolution of the FLC, the fact remains that the decision of the FLC at any given time is a joint one and all those who were part of it till it got them here should be blamed for being short-sighted about the implications of some of those decisions. It is true that Peter Olagunju was a very weak Speaker, and it is also quite true that the ineptitude of other members of the FLC under his leadership made them support him in making decisions such as switching of the office space and the impeachment of the Association’s President without thinking that it could cost them their irrelevance. As it is now, one could only pray to God for the FLC to regain its teeth so it could continue to be relevant and not only live on past glories. The glory days of the Hallowed Chamber are indeed over and the occupants are only trying to save their faces from utter shame by summoning members of the executive council when they know they have no power to either suspend or impeach them, thereby hiding their self-imposed powerlessness from unsuspecting AFASites. In the long run, the Association would be better off without an organ that is not trusted to make decisions without throwing the faculty into jeopardy.

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