Awotiwon Ibiyemi Joseph on OneOnOne with OAU Kilonshele
Awotiwon Ibiyemi Joseph on OneOnOne with OAU Kilonshele
Management is not our enemy= Ibiyemi
January 28th, 2017
Venue: FAJUYI HALL Reading Cafe
INTERVIEWER: LEKAN AFOLABI
INTERVIEWEE: Awotiwon Ibiyemi Joseph, aka Ibiyemi
Full Name: Awotiwon Ibiyemi Joseph, pka Ibiyemi
Background: Hails from Ilaje, Ondo State. Born and bred in Lagos. First son out of three guys
Parents status: Alive
Educational background: Primary through to secondary education have been in Lagos except for the University degree which Is in Ile-ife
Faculty and Level: Law and 400 level
Academic status: Far beyond 2.5CGPA
Interviewer: As you are vying for the office of Presidency for the Students Union, which some would call the greatest SU in Nigeria, can you tell us about some leadership positions you have held?
IBIYEMI: I have always seen my leadership progress as a lucky diagram. Being the first son of the family, I have to set a pace for my younger ones and being a kind of intermediary for most issues have made me matured enough. I have always been involved in leadership roles in my church’s ministry and campus fellowship that I was even tagged as Pastor of the Modern generation. Was a cell leader, class pastor, served as an assistant coordinator for the former COP coordinator for UJCM. This made me realise I could go into politics. Also, I was the Angola Hall Chairman and served as my class coach and currently serving as faculty’s assistant coach.
Interviewer: How would you say you tackled some of the challenges of being a leader?
IBIYEMI: We humans are insatiable; we all have our weakness. While being the Angola Hall Chairman, I had to work with everyone even though we fought a lot and made our union a brotherhood which I could say propelled us into achieving 90% of our manifesto if not 100%. The challenges were silent because we had to join hands together, hence, the merit of teamwork even as a leader. Accommodating opinions, ideas and everyone helped my administration.
Interviewer: Thank you very much. What are the defects you have noticed in the Students’ Union from past administrations that you would like to work on?
IBIYEMI: Well, I don’t like to blame previous administrations cause the position of leadership is not easy but learnt how I could have done better where they did not. The most prominent defect I could notice is that the Union was not for the people but in the armpit of some certain individuals. It should not be like this because it is a Students’ Union and not a Students’ Union Government. Let us bring the Union back to the people. We need to bring this sense of belonging and participation back to the students. What do the generality of Great Ife Students want? The voice of the people is a voice of God.
Also, we have always undermined consultation and jumped into confrontation which we end up not utilising the consolidation of trying to bring back outside forces to complement our consultation. We should always seek for diplomacy first and not jump into radical protest because most times this has not always yielded great results.
Interviewer: You mentioned seeking the students’ interest always. How do you want to go about this? Is it by calling frequent congress?
IBIYEMI: Thank you for the question. We get to know the interest of the students by calling departmental and faculty Presidents together, diverse organization bodies and all. Let everyone come together and the CEC tables our plans and see the feasibility scheme. Yes, we have the parliament, but as the CEC, this can also be done because these bodies represent the interest of most students. Referendum will also be employed.
Interviewer: Can you share some of your plans with us?
IBIYEMI: Amendment of the constitution.
Presently, I have an issue with the constitution which needs an amendment because there are lots of aberration. For example, the judicial responsibility is left in the hands of the security council. They interrogate, investigate and adjudicate judgement. This should not be. A criminal should remain a suspect until proven. While being the Angola hall president, I made it mandatory that before you touch a suspect, it must be proven beyond reasonable doubt with a fair hearing which is in Section 36 of the constitution. Also, the electoral acts, the review of the judicial system.
We Will also be looking at the students’ welfare
When it comes to welfare, we have always been more concerned about students leaving in halls of residence and not those staying off campus and they all pay SU dues. We have to start caring about their own welfare too. From a recent calculation, the hall can hardly accommodate less than 15,000 students and we have more than 30,000 students which shows that we have more students staying outside campus. How much do we care about their welfare, security and all? If I emerge, we have a plan to work with Osun State police force to maybe have a checkpoint or whatsoever around the campus gate towards asherifa to ensure those staying there can live in peace as level of robberies and attacks increase every day as I heard there was also an attack yesterday. And we should stop complaining about what the management should do for us but put this drive into what we can do for ourselves. To lay more emphasis, when I was the Angola Chairman, we ran some projects in buying fans, getting some rooms tied and all. We did this ourselves and not pester the management. We sought for outside help, sponsors and listed what we wanted. There are elites out there who are ready to be celebrated. Let us get them to sponsor some of our welfare needs like water system and all.
Investing in the students
We have a lot of graduates out there not doing that well. We have plans to promote Entrepreneurial skills training. We have to start investing in ourselves. Let people come and learn and not turn as liabilities out there. We have list of names to sponsor this. We want a union that is impactful, a union that would move forward.
Stable academic calendar
Let our eight months be eight months. No one should spend extra months on campus. Most at times we see management as our enemy, no, we should not see it that way. There are ways we can get things from them. Diplomatic means will get us a lot. The idea of CCC (Consultation, confrontation and consolidation). I believe in radicalism, but as against rascality and hooliganism. A lot of times, we practice rascality and hooliganism instead of radicalism.
Interviewer: These plans of yours, how do you intend to work these all out with your academics looking at the time-consuming factor ?
IBIYEMI: Time management. The best result I ever had was when I was the Angola hall Chairman. So, time management and planning will keep the balance.
Interviewer: Do you have any reservation with any of the modalities of the election as mandated by the electoral commission especially the controversial 2.5cgpa minimum academic requirement as this caused fracas between yourself and honourable Seun last session?
IBIYEMI: I am indifferent to the requirement. My fracas with honourable Seun was not because of the 2.5cgpa minimum per se, it was because he claimed to have 2.5CGPA. My struggle then was not for the essence or relevance of 2.5CGPA minimum requirement, it was for justice and transparency. I believe that your academic brilliance does not quantify your leadership quality but I still believe that a minimum of 2.5CGPA is not too much for a leader. The last congress was nothing to write home about due to the attitude of the Electoral Chairman.
Interviewer: The last question goes thus; though you’re optimistic about the result, what would be your next move if it went the other way round?
IBIYEMI: Donald Trump after winning the election said, “We have won the election”. After politics, Great Ife is one. After my struggle with Honourable Seun, I told him “In any way you think I can help, I will”. I am even trying to create a what’sapp group for we aspiring for the position of Presidency, that after the election and the emergence of a winner, others should be able to share their ideas. Great Ife SU will always stand.
Interviewer: Thank You for your time.