Highlights

  • We are currently following up on the CGPAs of all SMIC members. Management would be credited for any possible reduction in their performance
  • Students’ politics and first class cannot move together. They are contrasting factors
  • Pressure from the students’ community requesting for performance (not coming forthwith) from youngsters who knows little about campus politics will soon lead to another agitation
  • Appointment of first class students as campus political leaders is a slap to the face and a humiliation to the students’ political community
  • There are tangible indicators that another wave of protest would emerge from now till December: This is predicated on the behaviour and political know-how of the SMIC chair
  • Stop telling students you will see the CV before any decision will be taken. Rather, say you will meet with your committee first.

Details:

It seems just few days that the SMIC (Students Management Interface Committee) was inaugurated, so much has happened underground without anyone knowing. Things have really been brewing as many anticipate the activities and performance level of the SMIC.

Firstly, from the superficial look of things, accolades may fly on the decision of the NDU management to constitute the SMIC on grounds of first class. In fact, the lack of adequate education on the part of some Nigerian leaders has cost the country greatly. It is indeed a good decision to ensure that those who lead are properly educated to bring in the needed leadership that promotes educational excellence especially on campus and not just students who would resort to protest as the only means of achieving their aims.

Nevertheless, I will prefer to speak as a concerned voice on the future CGPAs of the students. These SMIC members are least aware of what they have gotten themselves into. In fact, the president is oblivious of the “wahala” of students’ politics. Sammy is really wise I must confess.

Let me first of all congratulate the supposed chairperson, who the VC stated is on 5-points in BMS but declined to participate in politics. If you are reading this material, I wish to assure you that this decision you have taken to remove yourself from politics and focus on your first class pursuit is the BEST decision you have ever taken. Academics is not actually about money; it is about intellect and you have proven that to be true.

Let me also state, that we are currently following up on the CGPAs of all SMIC members and management would be credited for any possible future reduction in their performance. I would prefer to believe that management have plans to ensure their CGPAs remain intact, else, for political involvement, none of them would remain in first class by the time politics finished with them.

Mr. Chairperson, SMIC, you will not sleep well again. Your phones will not rest again. You cannot even read well again. You must have dedicated at least 70% of your time to get first class. But now, and as events unfolds, you will not even have 40% to yourself to read again. I put it to you that you have blindly accepted this leadership and I recommend you relinquish it now and focus on your first class.

Your lack of knowledge in politics is a slap to the face and a humiliation to the students’ political community. This is perhaps, why you may see some sort of confrontations because your first failure (inability to address the students publicly politically). That you now wish to see the VC for approval before you sleep, eat, breathe, call a congress, walk…; that you now believe you have to seek for permission first is an embarrassment to a supposed independent enterprise which you now lead. Kindly peruse through the constitution and see how SUG looks like. Because since you got admission, the NDU have not practice students’ politics. Couple with your academic feat, your lack of awareness in politics is highly understandable, hence, no qualms.

I will not oppose you, neither will I allow anyone to do that. I will write all I can to enlighten the students’ community that there is no single fault with you and that you should be given the needed space. This is because you are too young and you may not have faced public pressure, so that you do not feel overwhelmed. Hence, I have taken an advisory path. Once you start seeing attacks and confrontations, remember this; the NDU SUG is larger than you. Return it to who gave it to you so that they do not *kill you for me (* ‘kill’ here refers to unnecessary avoidable issues).

However, the problem on ground is that the students community seemed not to have the time to give you that space, hence, you may want to see my suggestions at the end of this material and free yourself of unnecessary issues.

Before you decide to throw my advise into the gutter, know that I am a professional teacher and a highly trained one at that who have studied how multifarious factors influence academic performance even before you gained admission. Be rightly educated that students’ politics and first class cannot move together. They are contrasting variables that have continued to thread in a self-oppose lane (Please see Oluebube, Ariya & Shittu, 2020 and Cress, Astin, Zimmerman-Oster & Burkhardt, 2001).

I believe you have started seeing pockets of pressure. This will surely be the tip of the iceberg. You cannot stand in that position. From your statement that “I have no plans” for the SMIC, I wonder if you know there is anything called eleco. Or if you know how to constitute it. I also wonder if you have heard of the word congress in a campus setting. I wonder why management did this to embarrass and humiliate the students.

These will now lead to another round of protest especially if the management fail to conduct elections by December, 2021 as it promised. Oh Sammy! You should have left SUG remained banned until you are ready to constitute a politically inclined SMIC. You have placed these youngsters in harm’s way. Do not be afraid of student’s agitation. For their actions are only predicated on managerial excesses.

Mr. Chairperson, SMIC, your inability to address the students immediately after constitution of the SMIC is not by happenstance. It is a testament that politics is not your thing and that management have set your up against your colleagues. Please, protect yourself. Be calm in your response to colleagues because most of the attacks you will now face will not be due to your own doing but by dint of management placing you there to your own blindness.

Pressure from the students’ community requesting for performance from you who knows little about campus politics will soon lead to another agitation. Data from our WhatsApp, website and social media feedback revealed that they have often been embarrassed speaking with you. The least idea of student’s politics is not with you.

Consequently, there are tangible indicators that another wave of protest would emerge from now till December: This is predicated on the behaviour and political know-how of the SMIC chair most especially. Accordingly, as a writer who often writes for the wellbeing of the academic community, I herefore make the following seven suggestions:

  1. Relinquish power today. Call a meeting for the SMIC, tell them that the first class position is at stake. Write a letter immediately to the management thanking them of finding you all worthy of leadership and cite the dangers it portends. Then conclude that you have consequently resigned from the SMIC.
  2. Where you feel you are equal to the task and to relinquish power is not the way forward (as this material is only advisory), then call a congress next week and address the students. Congress is a right of the students but I guess you do not know. If you fail to call a congress, the students can call the congress next week and invite you (a sign of failure). If you fail to attend, it means you have neglected the students, then the students can make decisions for themselves or protest MAY follow.
  3. Immediately after the congress, constitute eleco the second week. Once eleco is in place, your pressure has lessened. It is the eleco chairman that will be pressured. Not you again. Then you can focus on your studies and press on with your first class. You must not entertain any fake first class later. You must continue to work for it just as you have done till now.
  4. Do not be deceived that your first class will help you perform well in campus politics. You are a total failure in campus political affairs. Do not let them egg you on with lies to your own detriment.
  5. Try to act independently of management sometimes. You must strike a balance between management and students within this short time in office. Once the students see that you serve the interest of management, you will be rejected all round and your office deemed irrelevant. You will not even have the power to calm a protest.
  6. Next time any student confront you on any issue, tell him/her/them you have heard. That their input will be considered.
  7. Do not tell anyone you want to see the VC before you can take any decision. Tell them you will sit with your team and get back. Sure the VC is part of your team so do not use his name. Wisdom is better. Calling the name of the VC before any decision can be taken makes you a stooge to management and students unions ain’t stooge to anyone.

Conclusion

This material is not published with any negative intent. It was done to protect students who constitute 90% of our customers. Students’ protests are not by any means necessitated by their misbehaviour. Rather, they are only responses to managerial excesses. Students’ unionism act as a watchdog to management’s unfavourable policies. Hence, we appeal that the right things should be done in the right manner so that peace can reign to the benefit of management and the students.

Author: Julius Michael Oghenenyoreme
Date of Publication: October 29th, 2021

Consulted Materials

Cress, C. M., Astin, H. S., Zimmerman-Oster, K., & Burkhardt, J. C. (2001).Developmental outcomes of college students’ involvement in leadership activities. Journal of College Student Development, 42(1),15-27.

Oluebube, L. E., Ariya, D. A. & Shittu, L. O. (2020). Impacts of campus politics on academic achievement of library and information science undergraduate students in university of Jos Nigeria. International Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences, 19(6), 12-24.

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