ADRESS DELIVERED BY THE PRESIDENT, STUDENTS’ UNION, UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN, COMRADE ALAO IDRIS IBRAHIM ON THE OCCASION OF HIS INAUGURATION ON TUESDAY, JUNE 16, 2015. AT THE UNIVERSITY AUDITORIUM, UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN, ILORIN. BRACE UP FOR POSITIVE CHANGE!
Permit me to start with sincere and profound gratitude to theAlmighty God by whose mercies and might we are all gathered here today. Today marks another watershed in the history of students’ unionism in the University of Ilorin as the baton of leadership changes hand to paddle the canoe of the Union for the next academic session.
It gives me joy to be coming from the Faculty of Law, the faculty that is adjudged the best in the country and given the mandate to serve a followership of over 30000 students in the best, and most stable and peaceful University in the 21st century Nigeria. My appreciation goes to the father of the students, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abdul Ganiyu Ambali OON, and the entire management of the University for providing the enabling environment for study. We must appreciate their sense of commitment and dedication to bring about dynamism in the affairs of the University.
This dynamism has made it possible for UNILORIN Students’ Union, under my predecessor, Comrade Yakub Ishowo to be reckoned with as the second best most stable and organized Students’ Union in Nigeria. This feat is attributed to the peace made possible by the management of the University through dynamic and visionary leadership. Today, peace serves as the foundation upon which the development of this great citadel of learning is built. This was the cardinal point in the text of address delivered by the Vice-Chancellor on the occasion of Special Public Lecture of the Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ilorin, on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at the University Auditorium.
He said: “The University of Ilorin occupies the position it occupies in the Nigerian university system today as a result of peace. Development is impossible without peace. Gone were the days when our students would stage “aluta” for the fun of it or that our staff would embark on strike for any frivolous reason. What stakeholders in the University came to realise is that the University is for us to build and no one can build it except ourselves. If we manage our differences and put the interest of the university first, the development that would ensue there from
is in our collective interest.” As students, we must continue to appreciate and also work hard to sustain this great vision. We may not appreciate the peace we enjoy now until we loose it. I pray we don’t loose it.
It is also my singular honour and delight to welcome the invited guests and the past leaders of the Union in our midst, some of whom have served in one capacity or the other in the University. In spite of the distance, they still find the time out of their tight schedule to grace this occasion. If that points to anything, it points to the height of their commitment, loyalty, dedication and faith in the Union.
I am also gratified at the high level of participation from members. This clearly demonstrates our continued and abiding faith in, and commitment to our Union and our collective wish and determination to strengthen our role for the dignity and benefit of our Union. I also express my sincere appreciation to everyone who has contributed to the success of my campaign, though too numerous to mention. Excutela Abudanti. I thank you all for the opportunity and for the trust you have placed in me to lead this Union.
The central message of our campaign was “Positive Change” and this shall remain the guiding principle of our administration. The vision to pursue positive change is inspired by the message of change and hope personified by President Muhammad Buhari. You will agree with me that like Buhari, yours sincerely contested election more than once to win. I must also reveal that Buhari’s doggedness, resilience and the belief in his dream was a motivating factor for me to re-contest for the office of the Students’ Union President. As a ‘Buharist’, this was made possible for my love and belief in the concept of ‘Buharism’.
President Muhammad Buhari is a dogged fighter and tested politician who is capable of catapulting Nigeria into one of the world’s ten biggest economies. He is a leader who has zero tolerance for corruption and remains the last man standing with uncompromised integrity and honour. He was never trailed by allegations of corruption or accused of stealing the funds entrusted to him as witnessed under the previous administration.
This is the reason I have chosen President Muhammad Buhari as my role model for this administration.
Fellow Unilorites, the year 2007 witnessed the return of Student Unionism in the University of Ilorin after several years of proscription. Several administrations since then came with their programmes that have shaped the face of the union to what it is today. With much accolades and credits going the way of previous administrations, there is still the burning desire to break new grounds. Positive Change is the blueprint of the proposed project of the Union. The focus is to chart a new pathway in the scheme of planning and execution of projects that are students-
The focus is to redefine unionism to fit the twenty-first century realities. There is the need to improve on the status quo because the largest room is that of improvement. Admittedly, Aremu Abdul Malik (Attention)-led administration noted; “We have done our best, but there is still so much more left to be done” (Students’ Union Bulletin, June 2013 Edition, p 6.). This administration’s ‘POSITIVE CHANGE’ agenda will focus on capital projects, human capacity development, welfare package, nurturing probity, games and enthralling social events. The breakdown to achieve all these has been given in the manifesto.
In doing this, we shall work intimately with the University management to bring about the expected result.
Youth occupy a prominent place in any society. Apart from being the owners and leaders of tomorrow, they outnumber the middle-aged and the aged. Besides numerical superiority, youth have energy and ideas that are society’s great potentials. As the most active segment of any society, youth are the major determiners of peace and stability of a nation. Conversely, the degree of disorderliness and instability in society is also determined in part by youth. To this end, this administration will focus more on human capacity development so as to complement the efforts of the management in making the University “Better by Far”. To do this, we shall open the eyes of our members to various opportunities around and encourage them to discover themselves and aspire for greatness.
Let me inform fellow Unilorites that University of Ilorin is like an oil well that serves as the corner stone of a nation’s economy.
The good image of the University is always an opportunity which a student who knows his onions can always tap into. In other words, the image of the University is always a spring board for attaining the zenith. This is the reason we must work at all time to preserve the image, especially as we celebrate 40years anniversary of the University next session.
Fellow Unilorites, there is a common statement in journalism that “every editor needs an editor”. It can be inferred from this statement that every trainer needs training. To this end, the 21st century leaders must undergo training to become responsible and responsive leaders. Hence, a Leadership Training Programme (LTP) is long overdue for our union leaders. The LTP is for us to learn and imbibe traits of true leaders in order to effectively discharge their duties. This will eliminate the problem of teamwork that has continued to affect the optimal performance of our union in recent years.
To this end, there shall be a Leadership Training Programme for all heads of students’ organizations on campus inclusive of all duly registered association on campus. Modalities shall be spelt out for participants.
To achieve the agenda set for this administration, we shall endeavor to apply the management dictum that organizational goals must be SMART. That is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Tangible to culminate into effective management. In order to enhance the effective and efficient performance of the functions of the office of the President, the following appointments are hereby made in line with article 10 (a) (7) of the Students’ Union Constitution; Comrade Abdul Azeez Muhammad Basheer as Protocol Officer of the Union; Comrade Babaita Habeeb as Personal Assistant to the President; Comrade Olaleye Olalekan Nurudeen as Special Adviser to the President on
Media and Publicity; Amir of MSSN, Unilorin, Mallam Ahmad Abdullateef as Special Adviser on Religious Matters (Islam); Pastor Moses Abolade, the Head of UCU, Unilorin as Special Adviser on Religious Matters (Christianity); and Mr Hussein Abdullateef as Special Adviser on Student Affairs.
Fellow Unilorites, you have given me the mandate to serve you for the next academic session. As ever, I am ready to listen to your advice, suggestions and even grievances. And I wish to assure you that your rights would be protected at all time. In thinking about our agenda as we move ahead, I am reminded of one of the words I came across where someone advised “that many of the things we automatically rule out as impossible are perhaps just difficult possibilities.” We too can learn from that advice. Once we decide something can be done, the conversation moves from “Can we?” to “How do we?” According to Napoleon Bonaparte; “Great ambition is the passion of a great character.
Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principals which direct them”. In his words, Napoleon Hill have this to say; “Desire is the starting points of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything”. A challenge is not simply a difficult task. It is also a summons, a call to action, and I look forward to working with you to answer that call.
Thank you and God bless you all.