I’ve had my own share of AMSUL manifestos; some would even say I have more than enough experience than the average AMSULITE… But this was the first time I’d enter into New Great Hall (NGH) for such an event and it would be in order. I initially arrived at the manifesto venue expecting to find the usual suspects at chaos, that is – Students standing or jumping about at the back with posters, screaming or campaigning and pitching out their preferred candidate names against each other – You’d understand my state of bewilderment when I met AMSULites all seated in the hall, quiet, peaceful and facing the stage with so much ennui.
I commend the Sport Secretary Aspirants, but if I’m to be honest, after listening to them speaks about their plans, I lost interest in the first half of the AMSUL manifesto. So, I left to return midway through the event, in high hopes it would have become a sight of interest by then… Midway through the Manifesto night I was back and from outside New Great Hall entrance, I could see a lot of people standing at the back of the hall. It was with joy I ran into the hall to join the “Huda“, only to realize students were just gisting – out of boredom I guess.
On stage the two AGS aspirants were being asked questions from the high table (consisting of 2 past AMSUL Presidents, a past Senate President, a past Vice-president and An immediate past Association of Resident Doctor Executive – Dr Ojo). So, I made a conscious decision to get audience reviews of the manifesto so far… The two Social secretary aspirants did fairly well with their speech; Paschal was good but Tommy had the most fans and was equally good – even claimed he would have been great, but the man in charge of projector displayed his old power point slides and not the updated one of his manifesto. They both answered their questions fairly.
The two Assistant General Secretary aspirants also did very well with manifesto. Both were apparently good Orators. Vivian was more favored for obvious reasons – Let me just stop here before “Feminists” come for my head or is it “malist” or “masculinist”, I should fear… Confusing this days. They also answered their questions fairly. However, Old students felt the Judges were being too lenient with their questions, while the outgoing “Freshers” felt otherwise. Still, no placards or people carrying posters and causing trouble, no Booing or unnecessary praises, I was legit Pained.
The welfare aspirants came on stage, Iruoma was the first to speak, obviously an Orator – this was her field, “she” sha” wants to take care of us by force“. Then came her opponent – Hafusat – with the Fans, the uproar was almost legit. She spoke very well too. I left when the questions started rolling but certainly not before I dropped my “one dollar question” with a friend to ask for me…
I returned to the place of promulgation to find both the presidential aspirant and the Vice president on the hot spot. Apparently, they both came “extremely late”, as the Judges were already around way before they arrived. As punishment they were both initially “Disqualified’. But then, the ones in command made the verdict to temper justice with mercy with the approval of AMSULites to increase the required votes to lead both aspirants to victory to 85% of total votes…
They were however asked to or made to – depending on your Point Of View – give explanations for their lateness. Brammy, the Presidential aspirant claimed he was very sick and attended a class meeting that lasted all day prior to the event. When probed further he said he was on Cimetidine and Omeprazole medication… Can’t recall the remaining drugs. As for Bisola – who was running for the position of Vice President – one of the honourable audience already pointed out about knowing she was playing volleyball prior to the said program. Her reason after apologizing quasi continuously was that she was “ostensibly tensed” or “nil composed” and Volleyball has an intuitively calming effect on her. All in all, the “Huda” – a.k.a. Drama or Climax – I wished for showed up, not in the way I envisioned but took me to an “unfamiliar and au courant territory”.
I must praise the effort of the Electoral Committee, even though it saddens me, for following the rules appropriately; even when both aspirants did not make up the 85% votes required. This most have been a very difficult decision to maintain; especially when it came to the Vice presidential aspirant, who was relatively very close to the cut of point – 82% of the total votes.
I also use this platform to appeal to the “affected aspirants”, not to see this as a defeat but to see it as one of the “challenges and obstacles” they have to overcome to lead this prestigious Association. The easy way out is to fall into despair, anger, regret and even possibly hate; which they are allowed to – they are humans too. But, I believe what will make you be considered – Sui generis – is the ability to go “beyond the norm” and rise above the cliché expected of you. This is the time to show AMSULites you have the will and zeal to win and ensure your vision for AMSUL.
God Bless AMSULites
God Bless AMSUL
God Bless CMUL
God Bless UNILAG
TURNING POINT – One would wonder why I would call this post a “turning point”. Let me humor you, as a final year medical student of UNILAG, I have spent roughly five years in LUTH and its environs; I have never for once seen a program organized by AMSUL start at the appointed time. We could argue that, it is a Nigerian thing but like my favorite quote says, “People who do not learn from their past are doomed to repeat it”. This probably was the attitude the aspirants brought to the Manifestos. I myself arrived at the Manifesto a tad late obviously because I was coming from school. So I didn’t really get the memo about the “85% quota” until the results were released.
The derogatory comments on the voting papers from what my source got me showed clearly how “AMSULites” felt about the whole lateness and Manifesto thing. One said and I quote: “Maybe they are just running because they can, or to boost CV, not particularly because they have something to change. They are also juggernauts so it’d be hard to oppose them”. I don’t entirely agree but it looked that way as there was no campaign whatsoever or DPs until a few days before the election.
I also applaud the Electoral committee especially the Electoral Chairman, Bello Abdulmateen for upholding their decision and not just sweep it under the rug for discipline.
I have no doubt that they are right for the job. I just think it is high time we inculcate punctuality into our dealings, hence the “turning point”. You can look forward to events starting at the appointed time if AMSULites themselves also put Nigerian time behind them.
When they say, “Karma is a bitch!” I never understood it fully until AMSUL manifesto night and election day was over. In life, one lesson I learnt is, when things are going smoothly and rosy for you, do not use your own hands or attitude to pull it down on yourself by relenting on your initial vibes, diligence and commitments because trust me, we humans are swift to forget the sacrifices you make on good days and get stuck on the shortcomings you had or a little mistake you did on a bad day.
Back to the manifesto; both “key aspirants” – President and Vice President – came terribly late for their manifesto and it was glaring… We are talking 1 hour 30minutes late. How do they then intend to lead AMSUL for the next one year? Was one of the many questions that was flying around.
And while they were been reprimanded for their indiscipline and unacceptable conduct; they kept giving excuses and justifying their actions – as opposed to just sticking to apologising for their wrong deeds and letting the anger and annoyance they’ve brewed up steam down – adding to the annoyance of the already angered guests on the high and AMSULites who felt insulted and being taken for granted by their actions.
Although, they were not allowed to give their manifesto as part of the punishment for late coming but the questions sent for them by the audience made me realize that – politics will dig out your past mistakes and misconducts that you thought was forgotten or no one knew about and bring it out to the open. Woe betides you, if you have gory decaying skeletons in your cupboard!
At the end of the day, it wasn’t the electoral committee that disqualified them. It was AMSULites – even with the letters of apology they were all made to write and upon the leverage of the AMSUL constitution – that decided what they wanted and demanded the respect they deserve by not voting for them. Even though their campaigning was evidently deficient, majority of AMSULites still believed in them and voted, sadly, it wasn’t enough to pull them through to the end.
In all, the whole idea of “disqualifying” them to make them “rerun” is not to deprive them of the positions, because to be sincere with ourselves, they are at least and at the moment the “most experienced and qualified” people for the job. The idea was to make them learn that you don’t take servitude and AMSULites for granted although you are offering to serve them, and just because you are contesting for an elective position unopposed doesn’t mean or give you the liberty to lower “our standard” or behave in an unprofessional manner – like you are doing AMSUL a favour and AMSULites have no choice
… Even though, we know that they not being in AMSUL is a loss to AMSUL.
Finally, when you want to serve or called to serve… Be ready to render service well without putting on any lackadaisical attitude. Character and attitude is everything; loose that and you lose all. Also when you are wrong, accept you are wrong and not try to justify your actions causing others – that made out time for you – to look stupid.
What was painful and got to AMSULites the most and people involved in general, were the people involved, AMSULites didn’t expect it from “them”.
Now, it’s left for them to learn their lessons and move on to greater things.
AMSUL – Association of Medical Students, University of Lagos, the body for all Medicine and Surgery (MB;BS) students in the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos (CMUL)