AFAS ELECTION: “No Be You Go Tell Me Who I Go Vote”



The most loyal set of people you will find in the world are AFASites when it comes to elections. Like a flock, they are willing to follow their chosen shepherd to grave in a show of solidarity. They care little whether their candidates have good plans or not or whether their plans score bottom-of-the-barrel marks on feasibility. As long as they know you, you have the whole of their hearts and livers. In fact, should you be unfortunate to fall into the oppostion and do as much as proselytise against their choice of candidature, they will fight you with everything they have and may religiously yell to your face a well rehearsed no be you go tell me who I go vote.

If anything, the last Afas election confirmed this. The incumbent president, Mr Eniola Francis, couldn’t clinch a win against his opponents (Damilare Thomas and Moses Aderemi) in both the AFASiec screening and the press night results but eventually won at the poll, of course riding on the waves of a supposed ‘love’ of AFASites.

Whether this is something to be happy or worried about is at best controversial. But it does give this writer worry at the “pettiness” for which political aspirants are supported and even endorsed during elections. On WhatsApp, you are likely to see some fellows (I call them online warriors) spam groups and DMs with a thousand and one messages, telling us why “so and so” is the right candidate. The other warriors whom you are also likely to meet would shout at the top of their lungs when they see you at the faculty: “This is who we should follow. Vote “so and so”. We should all follow him”

It is apt to say that right before the ban on electoral activities was lifted and even before we could hear the other candidates out, most Afasites have already endorsed their “choice”. There is little or no room for listening to the other side. Everyone seems to be enthusiastic about spoon-feeding us their candidates. So, I ask:

“Has the goal of election not been defeated if we are to support candidates prior to knowing their plans?”

This happened in 2015 or thereabouts when Buhari came on with his vociferous “change” mantra. It happened that we were too lazy to ask: “What sort of change do you mean sir?” But, as they say, what’s done is done.

You may ask, “now what’s the point of all this?” Here’s what I’m getting at: If we are to support candidates prior to the proper vetting of their plans to know which has better plans, is it any different from saying to someone thus: “we want you to lead us. We don’t want to listen to other candidates for we know you will have the best of plans. We will go like sheep wherever you wish to take us to. Come and lead us”

Clearly, this x-rays the attitudes of our supposed “leaders of tomorrow” who care little or nothing about the election of qualified hands who would oversee the affairs of the faculty. Now If students are indifferent about who represent their interests in the school administration, or unbothered by the qualifications of those who relay their pressing needs to the management. How then can they be bothered by the elections of capable hands and minds who would govern our dear nation?

It is utterly deplorable that some who do well to vote are misguided and do not have credible and tangible reasons for pitching their loyalty to any particular candidate. This type of people, when asked the ‘whys’ for the choice of their candidates are likely to spark up silly responses like; “He/she is my church member”, “we are coursemates”, “we are from the same village or tribe” and so on.

I have wondered; “If results of elections could be decided this way in a centre of learning, what would happen outside the four walls of this intellectual environment? How would elections be decided out there – in slums, markets, villages, etc. where most of their inhabitants are bereft of a sound formal education? Or has the four walls of the university, known to many to be the height of knowledge, turned to a beehive of uncouth minds? To what pitch of degradation have we come?

It is at this juncture that I make a plea to Afasites not to key in to the politics of favouritism or popularity and flush out that “Abiku-like” deafness and blindness to competence and objectivity and come out en masse to attend the Press night and the manisfesto night which are to be held on 9th and 10th respectively, in order to sieve the candidates and vote the right people, as this is what separates the intellectuals that we are from those bereft of sound learning.

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