COMRADE OYEYEMI OMOBOWALE: THE STUDENT UNION POLITICS: A BOON FOR STUDENT’S DEVELOPMENT (IGBOGBO STUDENT UNION ONLINE CONFERENCE DAY4) INN Nigeria

20200704_073740_0000FACILITATOR BACKGROUND

Prince Oyeyemi Adegbola Omobowale was born into the family of Ajasa Omobowale to Late Rev’d (Engr) Olajide Omobowale of Eleshin-megun O’Late family in Igbogbo and royal family of Lambo Lasunwon in Ikorodu in the late 80s.
He started his primary education at Ijomu Muslim Primary Ikorodu with an excellent FLS Certicate as a Time Keeper. Thereafter, proceeded to Ikorodu Junior Grammar School and at the completion of his Junior Secondary School Examination he was among the two given scholarship by transfer to the premier school in Ikorodu, Oriwu Model college to complete his Senior Secondary School.
He proceeded to National Open University to complete his degree in Law 2016 and did a part-time in Education with the course combination of Political Science/Social studies from Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education where he bagged his National Certificate In Education in 2017.
He also have the following Certificates in no particular order to the glory of God:
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving (Rochester University) 2019.
Ideas For Better World: Leading Change Through Policy Making (British Council) 2020.
Lay Preacher (Methodist Church Nigeria) a certificate that is recognised globally. 2018
Professional Development in Education (Bridge International Academy Teacher Training Institute) 2016, ’17.
Leadership Management (Shaw Academy) 2020.
His passion for community development and capacity building makes him delve into the Igbogbo Student Union where he resurrected long published heritage of the same union Egret Magazine 3rd Edition in the year 2015. A publication which was forgotten for more than 5 years and served the Union in her peak as a SPEAKER 2014 and PRESIDENT of the same 2015. Also a one time Honorable of NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF IKORODU DIVISION as a Majority Leader and Chairman of the present Constitution of the same association.

Religion Roles

Captain African Lads & African Lasses Brigade 2004 -2007. One time Divisional Band Master, which is currently a National Brigadier of the same movement. A Circuit Prayer coordinator, MCN Ikorodu Circuit. He a Preacher, Singer and composer of Songs.
He is a member of YALI, Future Learn (British Council) and Christian Leaders Forum.Currently the manager of Bridge International Academy, Igbogbo. He received a mandate from God to found FAR ABOVE RUBIES (FAR) a relationship management and counselling platform for singles, courtship and married couple whose membership cut across Nigeria.

EXCERPTS

INN: Soo Far what do think conferences like this can do for our Student Union if it is Consistently done?

Mr Oyeyemi: I will say in my opinion it will enhance good communication and unravelled the mindset of the elected to the electorate. Meaning that, the electorate will know that with or without seeing them they have them at heart.

THE STUDENT UNION POLITICS: A BOON FOR STUDENT’S DEVELOPMENT BY COMRADE OYEYEMI OMOBOWALE

INTRODUCTION
Every political system or indeed any system has parts that are inter-related and interdependent. The parts are bound together in what appears to be an unbreakable synergy. This means that the parts perform different specific roles that sustain the political system. It follows that whatever affects any of the part will invariably affect the entire political system. Aside from the institutions, agencies and the environment in which the political system operates, students‟ union within the purview of group dynamics performs critical role in the stability and development of the political system. Students‟ Union, specifically, within the context of competing and conflicting group interests, protects the interests of its members and that of the generality of the citizens in a country or area of domicile. The efficacy of students‟ union performing these roles is a function of the environment in which it operates in this case Igbogbo. The environment here is not only the physical structures or vegetation, but more importantly, the prevalent values and norms in the society. Within the perspective of behaviouralism, the prevalent values and norms can influence not only the actors of state but also other parts, including Students‟ Union that make up the political system. It is against this backdrop that this online conference takes a critical look at Students‟ Union politics as a boon to student development.

Definition of terms.

Student Union: This is a student organization in a university or colleges which organizes, leisure activities, provide welfare services and represent students’ political interests.

Politics: As a Political scientist there are a lot of contradictory, theories and overlapping definition of the term, which made me come to the conclusion that there is no generally acceptable definition of the term. However, for the purpose of this course Politics is the way that people living in groups make decisions. Politics is about making agreements between people so that they can live together in groups such as tribes, cities, or countries. The study of politics in universities is called political science, political studies, or public administration.

Boon: something that is very helpful and improves the quality of life synonyms of which is Blessing.
Development: Development is a process that creates growth, progress, positive change or the addition of physical, economic, environmental, social and demographic components.

Together the topic simply means, coming together of students in decision making: A blessing to student growth.

But with due respect to all, I am here to tell you that the student politics which seems to be a blessing at the start of it after been bought, later marred the student development. This will be known after either leaving the post or after graduation. You will believe with me that the growth which a student seeks politically will now hunt him either immediately or at the long run in life. In other words, a student growth should not be measure by politics but by credibility and integrity.
To be candid with you here tonight, student union wasn’t founded for the purpose of politics but the emergence of calling on government bodies, school management’s, societal issues, greediness, and uncontented turn it to what it is today.
When the purpose of something is unknown, abuse is inevitable.
Let’s go into history a little bit…..

Students’ Union In Nigeria
Students‟ Union is a student organization present in many colleges, universities and high schools. In most cases, Students‟ Union is often accorded its own building on the campus. It is committed to effective representation of the students.

Thus, the purpose of Students‟ Union is to represent students both within the institution and externally; including on local, national and even international issues. It is also dedicated to social and organizational activities in a bid to promote robust and healthy academic environment. 

It should be noted that some Students‟ Union are politicized organizations to the extent that they serve as a training ground for aspiring politicians. However, Students‟ Unions generally have similar aims irrespective of the extent of politicization, usually focusing on providing students with facilities, support and services.

The main objective of a Students‟ Union is to solve students problems that can either be related to academic life or have a general political, economic or societal nature. Infact, a Students‟ Union is expected to impact positively on its immediate environment by improving their school environment through encouraging social, cultural and other extra curricular activities that are happening in the local community. Which our union has failed to be committed to.

In Nigeria, Students‟ Union is a precipitate of the West African Student Union (WASU) which was partly pioneered by some Nigerian students in London back then. We talk of The Solanke and Bankole-Bright led WASU who fought for improved welfare for all students in London. Their influence in Nigeria brought about NUNS (National Union of Nigerian Students) which premiered in the University of Ibadan. NUNS now NANS (National Association of Nigerian Students) has its wings spread across all tertiary institutions in Nigeria in the form of SUGs (Student Union Governments). WASU fought the colonial masters for the rights and emancipation of Africans from colonial tutelage. WASU and the Student Union matched on as a platform of change and offcourse informed activism.

It is obvious that Students‟ Union in Nigeria was not only committed to the welfare of students but also that of the entire citizens of Nigeria. Consequently, the union enjoyed support from radical intellectuals and academia. The union leaders were purely idealist and fire brands. Under the leadership of Segun Okeowo, NUNS became involved in national politics for proper funding of education for Nigerian Students. Nigerian students under NUNS suffered all manners of maltreatment yet remained adamant insisting they are fighting the forces of feudalism, parochialism and tyranny in our political system.

Which means that, our unionism should not only affect our members alone but that which must be felt across board in all parastatal that makes up the community as a community based union.
To corroborate the above fact about NUNS, Tanimu Umar noted that Student Unionism in Nigeria was known to be a force to be reckoned with. In the sweet old days students through which their unions were known to stand firm in criticizing the injustices of our leaders, thereby, effecting major changes.

Its heartbreaking that is not in our own case, otherwise is the case, here we see a president who is not capable of exercising his political franchise. A comrade whose conscience have been bought politically. A comrade who glorify political mediocres against the will of members. We have comrade who lobbynot for the the purpose or in the interest ofother comrades but self acclaimmed glory.

 I put it to you back, ARE WE NOT VOICELESS?

There were instances when the authorities clashed with students when diplomatic precautions failed to work; the 1978 ABU students riot quickly comes to mind.
During the uprising, many students‟ lives were lost while agitating for the ouster of their education Minister, colonel Ahmadu Ali who incidentally now heads the so called ruling party, PDP.

The “Ali Must Go” riot like many in those days was a landmark achievement by student unionism in Nigeria; it has opened up the eyes of our leaders to the fact that students know their rights and can fight oppression no matter the intimidation. We also have the same in the history of ISU where our union stand firm on their right on the community union building when the then council was stylishly turning it into maternity centre. The then president COMR. Amusa if I’m not mistaking and his SRC took their stand and they won the building back which later gave birth to the present maternity centre before igbogbo stadium.

Where is the building now? Maybe they will answer tomorrow!!

Today, we became voiceless as a result of our cowerdness. Library in our community has become a forgone issue yet we have over 1000 students in this community we represent. This period should have open our mind to the succinct heritage we have forgotten that it will hunt us later in the future. Did I just say future, I mean it is hurting us already. We have 50% of our teenagers as either drop out of secondary school (a school that is free for that matter)some into cultism that many cannot even denied membership here.

I’m sorry if I am offending anybody here, I didn’t come here to rant but to speak to us how politics have made us to become what and where we are today!

From the foregoing, it is unequivocal that Students‟ Union in Nigeria was a bastion against the repressive, oppressive, dictatorial and tyrannical tendencies of not only the colonial masters but also the actors of the post-colonial state in Nigeria. It is therefore appropriate to affirm that Students‟ Unions in Nigeria have acted the role of watch dog in checking the excesses of the colonial and post-colonial authorities. Students‟ Union were then more or less a pressure group whose activities were focused in bringing about better education, good leadership, self rule and positive change for the people among other things.

It follows that whatever these unions considered unfavourable and unconstitutional, they stood firm and unthreatened in opposing such and because their course is just, unbiased and honest, they have almost always succeeded in achieving their target objectives.

And because our course in the recent times have been unjust, biased and dishonest we have turn ourselves to bastard in our hometown.

The same union produce me, Bro. Sanni Toheeb, Bro. Idris Adeshina who stood his ground and then the community to a silent after having a public meeting challenging cultism in Igbogbo. Talk of Oke Toheeb, Sola Amusa, Hon. Adeyemi Oshodi among many others.
These are fearless comrades, who never see unionism as a means to be political in their dealings.

Furthermore, Students‟ Unions in Nigeria have vehemently opposed the official high handedness, despotic and nonchalant attitude of authorities in the various tertiary institutions in Nigeria. The seemingly incessant protests, riots and demonstrations over epileptic power and water supply, arbitrary hike of school fees and the lack or inadequacy of learning aids in our campuses attests to the fact that Students‟ Unions in Nigeria have become the voice of the “Wretched of the earth” and a force to be reckoned with. It should be regrettably noted that in most cases, these protests, riots and demonstrations have led to the closure of the institutions and the concomitant distortion of academic calendar and the late graduation of Nigerian students. 

I have highlighted 8 nuggets here for us to make unionism attractive and for our voice to be heard.

For student union to be a boon,

1. We must be resistance and have due representation.

2. Self Discipline

3. Our members and community interest must come first. The clamour we have for our library for the past 5 years is yet to be attended to. It is our heritage, we need our library back. I once used it.

4. Integrity

5. Let all hands be on deck to fight against cultism in our community

6. Our antecedent. What can be traced back to you. This will make student union a boon to our development. Bible says in proverb 18:16, about a man’s gift.

7. Be wise. As a student who possesses the quality needed. You need wisdom. And bible says, wisdom is the principal thing, in all thy getting, get wisdom.

8. Be the voice in your community.

 

Q1: As a stakeholder of the union 

What has been your move to helping the union get back it stand in the community especially to making the union voice to be heard again.

Also concerning the library!
You said we have been clamouring to get it at least 5yrs and it also appears to me from your profile that you were the union president five years ago

What has been your move towards making us get back the library?

Lastly the augean of cultism

How best do you think the intervention of the union can be made in this regard since most high class people from this society are in one way or the other related to them.
Peace talks have been held but has never worked.

Comrade Oyeyemi: Thanks, I’ll start from the second on the issue of library.
When I was the president the challenge wasn’t me, and also not the LCDA. but the main issue was that the position of the then person in charge of the administration his lower was limited coz he was just and ES. Whose power is limited to act. As a father he invited us to his office, brought out the payment documents and how much the immediate chairman was owing the workers then which mean that he inherited a lot of debts.

Also, my team approached Chief Olorunfunmi Basorun, who also told us that something will be done as the then ES was like a brother to him. So, it is still a challenge to us which we must not keep quiet for.

Let’s start from catching them young.
Also, what we have to bring to the table of these people. Even the Bible forbids us to send away evil spirit and leave the body empty. The spirit will come back in Seven folds.

First, we need to partner with some NGOs and Government. I hate condemnation, I believe in the Gos of the bad boys thats who our God is and will always be. He never sent Jesus to the world for the sake of the righteous but for people like them to be returned back to Him(God).

Second, we must be ready to do a campaign for both parents and School owners to stop condemnation and segregation. They should watch their utterances to the life of these children, many of these youths and teenagers are as a result of lack of parental care and teachers (so to speak) fault when they employed untrained and uncultured staffs who didn’t people mistake is part of learning.

Lastly, we need to carryout a sensitization across all our schools on the effect of drugs, alcohol and cultism. Also, places of worship should be made attractive to youths and teenagers to accept their youthful exhorbirant

You say our big wigs are there, don’t we have them even among the ISU?

God safe our land.20200704_073740_0000

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