Vice-Chancellor, Professor NdowaLale, has advised the newly-inaugurated Interim Executive Committee of the Students’ Union to be committed to due process and embrace the right approach to issues in its activities. Professor Lale gave the charge when he received the new student leaders in the Vice-Chancellor’s Committee Room, last Thursday.
Professor Lale, congratulated the members on their selection to serve in the new positions, urging them to approach their duties with care and a sense of purpose. “Every quantum leap in life comes with challenges, responsibilities and risks. I advise you to utilise this rare opportunity given you to right the wrongs of the past by your predecessors in office. Let me assure you that Idon’t have any interest whatsoever in Students’ Union politics or who emerges as your leaders. I only charge you to be purposeful in your leadership style and less combative in advertising your grievances on issues concerning students’ welfare. Dialogue should be your watchword.
“I do not have any interest in what students may wish to do in their Union; neither does any member of the Management. From what I can see so far, you were carefully selected to serve your colleagues, and I am confident that you would give purposeful leadership to the generality of students who rightly look up to you for quality representation.”
He decried the fact that in the last ten years, Students’ Unionism had been hijacked by a vocal clique that did not care about the opinions and feelings of the generality of the students they were supposed to lead. “I charge this new Interim Leadership to ensure that it calls Congress on a regular basis to enable ordinary students ventilate issues that concern them,” he advised.
The Vice-Chancellor also charged the new leadership not to yield to manipulation by selfish individuals who may wish to use them to satisfy their selfish interest, advising them to stick to the legitimate welfare needs of the students in their new positions.
In his speech, the new Interim President of the Union, Mr. Obinali Wondikom, expressed gratitude to the Management for finding his members worthy to serve the students, assuring the Vice-Chancellor of their commitment to the lofty ideals of the Lale-led administration. He said that the Executive Committee made up of tried and tested leaders in various capacities would work tirelessly to serve the student population to the best of their abilities.
Mr. Wondikom said that the new Executive Committee would work on the revision of the Union’s Constitution, with a view to streamlining the channels of communication between the students and Management of the University to check potential areas of conflict. He assured Management that all the Union’s finances would be used to serve the interest of the students. The new helmsman said that “a situation in which the Union’s activities were carried out outside the University by some previous Executives would be stopped. Henceforth, we will ensure that we bring the Union back to the Campus, where it rightly belongs as envisaged by its founding fathers.”
Earlier in his remarks, Acting Dean of the Student Affairs Department, Dr. Out Ekpeyong, expressed gratitude to Management for constituting the Interim body, recalling that the move was necessitated by the botched election late last year. “The stakeholders resolved that given recent happenings on Campus, which resulted in the postponement of the poll, an Interim Executive was the only means of giving students some form of representation, pending when normalcy would be restored to necessitate elections into the Union’s Executive,” he disclosed.
Other members of the new Interim Executive are: Chidinma Eren, Vice- President; Ekerebari Wunih, Secretary; Obiageri Agbai, Financial Secretary; Job Jacob, Treasurer; Kelly Amadin, Provost and Festus Akpan, Director of Transport. Others include: Judith Aniefuna, Director of Sports; Ogbugo Amadi, Director of Socials; Osaro Valentine, Director of Information, as well as Bright Okougkha, Director of Welfare.