It seemed just like yesterday when news travelled around and pandemonium erupted on the four WhatsApp platforms of the premier faculty of the premier university regarding the glitz and glamour dinner that promised so much but was filled with hiccups from start to finish. Chaos reigned supreme and contempt emerged victorious. The pandemonium was due to simple disorganisaton and disunity amongst members of the executive council of the faculty which plunged AFAS affairs into sheer abyss. But after everything had closed, the egregious matters had laid low for sanity to get at least a taste of dominance, every Afasites thought they had broken free from the broken shards of malicious discussions and WhatsApp ‘releases’. After all, we had offered our extra package as propitiation to the god of peace. But, to our distraught, where the snail goes, the shell sluggishly follows. Just like the famous tale of Romeo and Juliet, AFAS cannot seem to live without Francisco, the former president, reaching from afar to make his voice known to the student of the faculty. And when dusk finally came and light began to shine, we realise that Sir Francisco never left.

In the inaugural plenary session which was held on Thursday, 17 February, 2022, Hon. Lawal Daniel appeared before the house baring ‘good news’ from the past President, Eniola Francis, popularly called Sir Francisco, that the association owes him a sizable amount of money (over 100,000). The money owed, according to him, was for DSTV subscription and some other projects which he had to quickly fund with his own personal money. This was after it had been established in the house that the association still owes the shirt contractor from last session. Apparently, just to enjoy glitz and glamour, the association was plunged into the depths of debts.

The deputy speaker, who was the clerk of the house last session, reacting to the former president’s claims, asserted that the association cannot pay him any money, and that the subscriptions were made at the end of the session when almost all students were gone from campus and questioned the usefulness of subscribing during the period. Also, members of the house agreed with this position of not repaying the house and that if Sir Francisco will insist on getting paid, he should appear before the house to make his case.

From this, if Mr. Former President does agree to appear before the house, then AFAS will be ‘graced’ with the presence of the leader of the now defunct team evolution yet again. So, we can safely establish that the relationship between AFAS and Francisco is not coming to an end any sooner. In fact, it could be a long one. As we all know, matches made in heaven are everlasting.

What does Sir Francisco say about the money the association owes him?

Among the wise people of the Yoruba tribe, it is popularly said that enu oni pon l’aati gbo pon (we should hear from the horse’s mouth). Or who better to tell a story than the person, on whom the story is centered? With this in mind, AFAS Press reached out to Mr. Francis for more enquiry on the issue. When asked what the money he claimed the association owed him was for, he said, “2 months subscription after the office was renovated and not for the whole session. Some other things too and not subscription fee only.” He was also asked about the other expenses on the amount owed but he replied that he did not have list with him because he was in a church service as at the time of the questioning. Also, when asked why the subscription was not added when the executive budget was presented, he replied that “executive budget came in the first semester and the renovation for the office came in the second semester, and it was towards the ending of first semester that we dedicated the office. We do not have DSTV in first semester, and so DSTV came on board in second semester for two months. I didn’t do the rest when I discovered that the main balance wasn’t coming forth, I mean the initial subscription.”

AFAS in debts

If anyone followed keenly what transpired during the climax of last session, it should not be surprising that issues like this are arising. The dinner, which promised glitz and glamour but only offered us, ultimately, a rancorous turn of event, was all the pointers needed for us to know that the future of AFAS’ funds is hanging. Nevertheless, for the sake of not being a pessimist or ‘bad belle’, we let bygones remain in their sedated state and pretend to move on. But the trouble that is, will never become was, if it is not given the attention it deserves. The issue of the shirt was present during the whole drama of last session, but due attention was not given to it, and now we have carried it over to the new session.

It was announced in the last plenary session that the association is in debts. We still owe the shirt contractor for last session’s production of shirt. Just when we thought we were done with team Evolution, its echoes still rings in our ears, singing melodies, whether sweet or discordant, it is left for us to tell.

AFAS Press reached out to Mr. Francis on the shirt issue and why the association still owes the contractor, he replied “one of the clauses attached to the approval of the cloth budget was that 80% should be paid at the first payment and upon total delivery of all the clothes, the remaining 20% should be paid. I can’t say specifically. The error came from either the investigative committee or the clerk. It was that time that the approval letter for other things were brought too, most especially the dinner budget, the #221,000 approval letter for withdrawal. But out of the letters that were brought, the financial secretary only attended to the dinner letter, and so I had no opportunity to see the other letters. That time, the package approval letter, #771,000 was also brought, but like I said, she only attended to the dinner letter alone. So, I could not see that letter for shirt approval because I was busy trying to convince the Sub Dean that he shouldn’t say that that amount should be withdrawn from the account because that was not the approved amount, however other things will be disturbed like this clothes of a thing. So, it was after the whole misappropriation had happen from the vice president and sub dean and Fin Sec, I now discovered that the figure of the approval letter wasn’t supposed to be that figure. But as at that time, the house had been dissolved. So, the error came from the figure given to the clerk by the investigative committee or the calculation of the clerk. That side is not really clear to me. Because when I contacted the two of them, the investigative said they explained to the clerk, the clerk said no, the amount she wrote was the right amount based on her calculation. So, I now tried to explain to the clerk that no, this is the way it ought to be. So, I can’t really say specifically but that is the summary of the whole things.”

AFAS Press called his attention to the statement he made about the sub dean, and he replied, “The Sub Dean cannot deny that he didn’t insist that #967,000 should be withdrawn as against the #221,000 approved for withdrawal by FLC.” When quizzed on the amount owed, he said, “each clothes was done for #1900 each and 202 clothes were approved. The first payment was #321,584, and the last payment was #45,600. All the payments ought to be #401,980. The error was on the remaining 20%.”

What next?

On the minds of all Afasites, the thought is about what step to take next. Do we repay the former President his money? Do we repay the contractor the #34,796 we supposedly owe? Or do we just tell him that the current administration has no business with the amount owed and he should go meet with the person, who contracted him to the job?

If we attempt to be benevolent, and claim that magnificence is inherent in every Afasite, and decide that we pay the contractor, the question to ask is with which money do we repay the debt? From every indication, the past administration left no sizable amount in the association purse and so there is no way to repay from the funds left. Also, it will be unwise to use the funds gotten from this session to repay debts of last session as this would leave a deficit. As it is, members of the association do not fully trust the student leaders with their money because of what transpired last session. The funds of the many was used to cater for a very few (dinner), and the extra package Afasites are due bore the brunt. But, we would not advice not to pay, since that would paint the association in bad light with the contractor. What step to take next still hangs in the balance but the occurrences that will come in the coming days will be the determining factor. As for our former President, well, perhaps he can accept it as his own service to humanity. Asides, he was the President out of his love for AFAS.

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