AFAS: A New Leadership, A Clean Slate?


AFAS is famed to be a pot of myriad political controversies and drama. The last session, like the ones before it, was a testament to this, with the climax of the session-long drama being the faculty election which was held at the tail end of the school year.

The timing of the election meant that the majority of AFASites, like other students on campus, had returned to their respective homes having finished writing their exams. AFASites, in particular, were not looking forward to an election as there were no visible activities that pointed to the planning of an election in the faculty at the due time.

Following the annulment of the ‘amended constitution’—which played a prominent role in the disruption of the electoral process in the faculty—by the Dean of Students Affairs who also directed that the election be conducted within a two-week ultimatum, the preparation for the election per the ‘old constitution’ hastily began. The Council of President and Secretaries (CPS), which had been earlier relieved of their duty to form an independent electoral committee, swung into action and constituted AFASIEC, headed by Sulaimon Mikail. Afterwards, AFASIEC lifted the ban on electoral activities on July 6, 2023, and all muffled electoral campaigns began to gain decibels.

Of Elections and Trade of Recriminations

Despite that students were thinning out on campus by day and AFAS was bound for an unusual faculty election—one devoid of AFASites’ physical presence and vim, the days leading up to the election were marked by events—the flights of accusations from the Faculty Legislative Council to the Executive body, specifically Richard Elijah, the Ex-director of Welfare and Social Services in AFAS and one of the two presidential aspirants and his eventual disqualification from the presidential race—which influenced the trajectory of the election.

Elijah’s resignation from his then office to announce his political ambition as instructed by AFASIEC had been met with claims of constitutional impropriety from the House. In a letter addressed to the Chairperson of AFASIEC, the Ex-FLC speaker, Rt Hon. Olasoji Akindejoye, clamoured for the rejection of his (Elijah’s) resignation letter and questioned his transparency on the grounds that although Elijah had followed the instruction of the electoral committee that any aspirant holding an office should resign, he, however, failed to keep to the 48hours deadline. As Hon. Akindejoye had pointed out, the announcement was made on July 6 and the resignation was publicly announced on July 9. He also implied a foul play as the letter was dated July 5 which suggested that Elijah knew of this announcement. Finally, Elijah’s letter flouted the constitutional provision for one of its nature—it was not properly addressed.

Following this, the FLC revealed that Elijah had committed financial improprieties during his time in the office as the Welfare and Social Services director. The inclination to adhere to the stipulations of the constitution to ban any office holder found guilty of financial impropriety from holding any office began to strongly come to view at this point.

This allegation grew into recriminations between the House and Elijah as the latter defended himself while the FLC stood its ground that the accusations were not baseless. Eventually, AFASIEC disqualified Elijah during the screening which was held on Monday, July 17, based on “serious allegations of misappropriation and mismanagement”.

Elijah’s disqualification leads to his opponent, Olaniyi Esther, running the race unopposed, further fizzling out the suspense that the unpredictability of a landslide victory or a tight competition could have stoked. Following a messy voters’ (students) accreditation, the AFAS election was finally held on July 20, with Esther Olaniyi emerging unopposed as the president-elect. The Akinyoola-led administration finally came to an end on July 31 when the new executive members were sworn in.

The Important Questions

The election as announced by AFASIEC had a total number of 313 voters. The timing of the election, the disqualification of Elijah who was a strong contender in the presidential race, and the limitations of the accreditation process no doubt effected this and it begets the question of what could have been done differently to achieve a desirable and different result and if 313 voters were enough to decide the electoral fate of over a thousand AFASites.

While AFAS might have moved past the election, there are other pressing questions as regards the new leadership at the different helms of the faculty’s affairs and the kind of session to look forward to under their governance.

Would the promise of Olaniyi’s illumination hold especially as regards the faculty’s physical environment and political image? Will AFASites and the university community see AFAS politics in a new positive light during her tenure? Will other members of the executive live up to their manifestos and surpass the expectations of AFASites?

AFAS FLC, known to many to be the House where political storms are brewed, is now under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Alagunfon. In discharging their constitutional duties, should AFASites look forward to more tussles between the House and the executive arm? Will there be more effective ways of demanding accountability? Will there be more or less of events that will have consequences such as a delayed election? Will the interests of AFASites be prioritised by all concerned arms?

All these questions will surely have answers as the session unfolds and the press remains steadfast in our role to write and report the truth. In the meantime, all AFASites are hereby welcomed to a new session.

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