EDITORIAL: FROM IRÚMỌLÈ TO ABACHA – 150 DAYS WITH THE INCLUSION PLAN
Time flies. These two words hold true at different moments in life, or perhaps all of life. One moment, it is 4 weeks to your professional exams and two blinks later, you have just 4 days left. One moment you’re swearing-in a new Hall Chairperson, the next it’s about halfway through his tenure. In the wise words of Soren Kierkegaard, a Danish theologian widely considered as the first existentialist philosopher, “Life can only be understood backwards; but must be lived forwards”. While there probably is a lot to look forward to, there is a need to reflect on the events of the last 150 days of this tenure.
A true, and perhaps thorough reflection will be impossible without considering the events that led up to the election of the current Hall Chairperson and other members of the executive council by extension. A lot has been said, and even more unsaid, about the events that transpired at the very end of the Revamped Agenda administration. There were fears about the democratic status of the hall and a level of political apathy like never before was seen. Shocking alliances were formed, friends turned foes and dissent spread like wildfire. However, like vikings in a storm, we remained dogged and found our way out. Now, hot heads have cooled, agenda put aside, and in retrospect, one cannot help but wonder how many of those events could really have been avoided.
In the beginning
The beginning of this administration came with hope and trepidation. There was the ‘new manager bounce’ that brought communication and some level of efficiency with it. Even without some members of the executive council at the beginning of tenure, the administration seemed unperturbed. Then came the issuance and withdrawal of the executive order, and a letter of compulsory leave to the information minister on a ‘family issue’. News of this rocked the hall. A peaceful start quickly became turbulent.
So far so good
Things have calmed and a flurry of events have been held over these 150 days. The Hall Chairperson has fulfilled quite a number of his promises. ‘Operation Light Up ABH’ is slowly progressing; our reading room nets have been repaired; we have more clothing lines; and our new incinerator is sitting right in one corner of the hall. There has indeed been improved communication, we have had the Health Summit and Brownites cannot deny that some soft skill training has been done.
However we await when the incinerator will be fully functional. Till then, we might have to bear with the current state of the dumpsite as the promise of increased frequency of clearing the dumpsite seems to be on hold because the waste management workers have been on strike (as stated by the Hall Chairperson at the Press Conference to commemorate the Executive Council’s 150 days in office), and the use of cut tanks for refuse disposal does not look so feasible anymore. The state of the ABH Ventures has also looked like a tough nut to crack for this tenure, with its glory days fading fast. Lastly, with an end to the strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, we hope to see the To-do list (which will show monthly targets of executive members) as promised.
Like a lego house
The strength of an administration is in its many parts. Each office forming small blocks of something big, like a lego house. However, like in Paul’s epistle to the Hebrews, time will fail me to talk about various offices from the Social and Buttery Minister, to the Sports Minister, and even to the Health and Sanitation Minister, who have all faced the harsh reality of political service and have been forced to alter plans, albeit largely successfully. Also, there is not enough time to talk about the Hall Secretary or the Defense Minister, for whom we await when most of their plans will be brought to light. Compared with the last administration, one can observe a general improvement in function across offices, and we do not expect the suspension or impeachment of any of the current crop of executives.
There is an unspoken understanding that this administration will be protracted by almost as much time as the 2022 ASUU strike lasted for. With at least 4 to 5 months to go, there’s ample time for all members of the executive council to make good on their promises. But time flies and our English teachers used to drum it in our ears to make hay while the sun shines. This in no way denies the fact that a tenure can also be a very long time, especially for people serving. Hence, it is normal for people to tire, for disinterest to set in and lethargy to have people underperforming. But when one person fails, there must be someone to help.
We must give kudos when necessary, and at the same time never be afraid to dole out criticism, albeit constructive, when the need arises. Accountability remains the bedrock of any political system and we watch patiently with hopes high as ever before, for what the remainder of this tenure will bring.