Francis Ikuerowo

The Faculty Legislative Council (FLC) of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students (AFAS) comprises representatives from each level and department in the Faculty of Arts. Its membership composition includes the Speaker of the House, Deputy Speaker, Clerk, Deputy Speaker, and other Honourables who are chosen from all levels –except 100 level- and departments in the Faculty. The FLC is, therefore, in many ways, a touch of our today’s National Assembly, albeit with minimal drama and theatrics.

In a way, it is saddled with enormous responsibilities of ensuring that the day-to-day running of the association conforms to constitutional requirements.
It has long been recognised that checks and balances are necessary in a system of government to ensure that individual power is not abused. An FLC to which the executive council is responsible for its actions is one such check. The FLC is the law-making assembly where the opinions, interests and beliefs of the students are represented. It is the foundation upon which modern democracy is built. What is then practiced in FLC, a students’ law-making body, is a microcosm of how things are being run in the bigger world out there. It is the FLC’s role to ensure that executive council is answerable to the students.

The FLC has the power to impeach any president or any officer of the association who goes against the constitutional provisions of the association. Article 46 Section B subsection 2 of the AFAS Constitution states that any officer of the association found guilty of financial mismanagement and misappropriation shall automatically forfeit his office and shall henceforth be banned from holding any office in the association and stand expelled from the association.

For example, the 2017/2018 AFAS President, Lijadu Isaac, was impeached on the grounds of financial misappropriation of the association’s funds. Besides this, 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. This shows the legislative power of the FLC in the past.

Therefore, going forward, the FLC must not present itself as a toothless bulldog with no full legislative powers. A situation where the Faculty management steps in to broker peace between the FLC and members of the executive council, or even override the decisions of the FLC, predisposes the hallowed chamber to being labelled as a toothless bulldog.

The responsibility of reviewing AFAS constitution also lies on the FLC. The FLC, in conjunction with the other tripartite arms of the association, is expected to work hand in hand to ensure that the constitution reflects Nigeria’s present realities and the students’, too.

Lastly, the FLC also needs to embrace a truth that every organ of the Faculty’s association—Executive council, The FLC itself, the CPS, AFAS Press—is acting in the interests of the students. Members of the FLC must divorce themselves from thinking the Press is there to attack them. Let us ponder over this: if the FLC checks and balances the activities of the executive council, who holds the FLC responsible for their actions, for example, latecoming, absenteeism, and general misbehaviour?

In conclusion, for smooth co-existence, the Hallowed Chamber must accept that the press has an obligation to inform AFASites of all happenings in the Faculty because the issues being discussed are crucial matters that affect them. Besides, how the Press covers the proceedings is solely at its discretion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *