Between Lawful and Expedient!
Over a decade ago in a Nigerian university in southwestern Nigeria, the Students Union Government of the school gradually built a reputation for #mismanagement of funds. It got to a point where every aspirant was seen as a potential thief. No matter how much explicit your manifesto might be, you are just a disaster waiting to happen in the eyes of the students’ voters.
Coupled with the mismanagement of funds, Students union leaders were seen as unserious too.
One young man, who was a boy at the time, wanted to change all that. He viled for the spokesman of the union and he won. The President under whom he served as part of the new order, was a distinction student. At last, the era of students leaders who end up spending extra years on campus without graduating was over.
Unfortunately, the President was only sound academically, but very weak in character as he too followed the old order, and swept the union’s funds. It was a big blow to those who felt he was a breath of fresh air.
As daunting as the task might be, haven served under someone who just raped the union, this young man moved from the spokesman of the Union and was elected President. He had the burden to prove his character, to show that he was different not just in words but in deeds.
Few months into his administration, the budget for the fixing of his private room in one of the hostels within the school premises, was approved by the legislative council. It was around twenty-five (25k) thousand Naira at the time.
Mr President then ‘#misappropriated’ the money, by using it to dig a well at the union building, as he felt that was a top priority, which would affect the larger students populace than his private residence.
As expedient’ as it might be, the legislative council, in her wisdom counted it as ‘unlawful’ and Mr President was found punishable under session bla bla bla of the ‘finance and budgetary’ session of the Constitution.
And the verdict was straight and simple, Mr President was suspended for two counts charge: #misappropriation of public funds and #misuse of office.
Well, the details of the reason for his suspension was not explicitly stated as I have narrated. The students were made you believe he misused his office in spending the union’s money. A good number of the students were disappointed, how can “#Mr_Integrity” join the bandwagon of looters? “After all, all of them are the same” was the conclusion.
And that was how the lofty ideas of this young man were brought to an abrupt end, as he spent the remaining days of his administration running from pillar to post to cleanse his name and put the records straight.
Though the suspension was lifted, early enough to allow him to attend the convocation ceremony as Mr President, and also to handover in peace.
Uafterntil today, over ninety (90%) per cent of the students’ populace at that time never knew the real story.
I am sure many would wish they could turn back the hand of time and flog all those who moved the motion for his suspension at that time, just as those who did what they do at the time are regretting it today.
The news you hear is not always completely true. The narratives are spun to defend the interest of those pushing it. So be very careful when you pass judgements based on reports from those who claimed to be key players in the events.
Things are not always as it seems.
TheTravailsOfAUnionist #Memoirs #ThrowbackStories
IDEDE Oseyande, a graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, is an unrepentant believer in the Nigeria project.
His concern for the actualisation of a prosperous nation and the continent, in general, is reflected in his written works.
He currently runs an online advocacy platform (www.socialwatchdog.ng) where he engages the government and the people.
Among his published works are ‘What is Left of What is Right?’, ‘The Portrait of a Revolutionary Leader’ and ‘Warri No Dey Carry Last’.
He is a guest writer for several blogs and his Attitudinal and Behavioral Coaching classes has transformed many lives.