ABH Decides 2022: Exclusive Interview with Miss Akemu Temabor, Hall Chairperson Aspirant
In making Brownites know their candidates better, ABH Press caught up with Miss Akemu Temabor, one of the aspirants for the post of Hall Chairperson, in an exclusive interview.
Press person: Goodday, I am a representative of the ABH press and for the sake of this interview, could you please introduce yourself to brownites?
Candidate: My name is Akemu Temabor, I am a member of the 2k18 MBBS class and I am vying for the post of the Chairperson of our great hall, Alexander Brown Hall.
Press person: Have you previously served in any capacity in the hall or is this your first time going for a post?
Miss Akemu: In this tenure, I served as the information minister and a member of the ABH ventures committee in the past tenure before, that is Folajimi’s tenure. As the information minister, I became the head of the publicity committee for the hall week and because of that, I automatically became a member of other committees.
Press person: What inspired you to go for this post?
Miss Akemu: I believe that the current management of the hall, that is day to day running of the hall, can be done better. For example, major problems like water issue, refuse site, sewage, etc, are not problems that the student executive council can solve. They are problems that the hall management with the university community should solve for us because students cannot, by themselves, fix the school properties. In ABH, as much as we make our repairs and take care of things ourselves, the hall is primarily a property of the University of Ibadan and it is not allowed for students to fix things. So, this is more of advocating with the hall management and the University of Ibadan Dean of students to help fix the major problems we’re facing.
Press person: You’ve just mentioned some of the problems the current tenure faced. Are there other problems you think they encountered and how would you tackle them if you were elected for the post?
Miss Akemu: As individuals, some members of the executive council were demotivated as the tenure went by. Sometimes, doing things on your own can feel overwhelming if you don’t come out and ask for help. Some thought that since it was their ministry, they could do it on their own and decided to handle it the best way they could. So, there was a general communication issue as people didn’t seek for help with whatever they were doing. We also had issues with our presentation of budgets and year plan to the hall assembly. We could have done mock presentations amongst ourselves and gone through the documents as an executive council and outlined the various questionable areas and do a feasibility study on whatever project each member of the executive council had in mind. Also, initially, at the beginning of the tenure, we could have drawn out a year plan, say in March, the female affairs ministry proposes to have a survival story and the health and buttery ministry proposes to have a social night that same month. Such that activities would be lined up per month. When the plan is laid out, everyone knows about it, everyone is aware and everyone is carried along, people would know that these are the two activities we have for that month and all hands have to be on deck to properly execute them. Another problem was that most of the activities were chocked, they were not spread out across the entire tenure. It was like just towards the end that some people were rushing to do some of the activities. If there had been a year plan, most of the activities would have been properly planned and carried out and we wouldn’t have had to deal with a lot demotivation and stress towards the end of the tenure. Also, about fundraising, we had a lot of issue with funds especially for the hall week because the plans for the hall week started relatively late. So, if elected, in collaboration with the vice hall chairperson, we can start planning towards the hall week and funding for it. Another problem was that we didn’t plan for unforseen problems. For example, the reading room had an issue recently with the air conditioners and this caused a lot of water leakage. So, we could have planned to write to the alumni body of the class that fixed it about maintenance or we could have added it to our budget.
Press person: How would you rate the performance of the current tenure?
Miss Akemu: Most of the problems we had in this tenure were actually unforseen. They were not problems we could solve on our own, say let’s fix the pumping machine and that was what generally clouded the view when you just think that people have not had water for five months. So, as a group, I would rate us a 5. There were some that did terribly while others did well, so individually, the percentage varies but as a group, collectively, 5.
Press person: So, you previously mentioned the problem with fundraising and how you would tackle it. Can you state explicitly how because Brownites were not happy when the dinner for cancelled. Is this something they should expect again?
Miss Akemu: This tenure is peculiar, it’s very short, about eight months. Also, we’ve already had a hall week this year. I’m not saying that we’ve explored all our sponsors and alumni but I’m just trying to state a backstory of how the tenure is short and the fact that we just had a hall week. A lot of money and donations went to the hall week because we raised about 1.9million naira within the space of two weeks. The sources of funds for the hall are from hall dues. The last tenure has helped and is still helping to properly manage and collate the hall dues. Two, assets of the hall like FCR and mobile public address system. As the information minister of the last tenure, the mobile public address system was generating funds after it was repaired but after a while, it got spoilt and there was no money to fix it. So I plan to ensure, during my tenure if elected, that the public address system works throughout and money from miscellaneous can be used to fix it if damaged. Another source of funding is donations from philanthropists and sponsors. Last tenure, we proposed including people into our honourary brownites but at the end we had to rush a lot of things and we couldn’t do it. I plan to make it happen if elected by getting names of alumni ranging from past Chairpersons to past Hall Wardens and this can be a source of funding for the hall. Also, some of the stalls are asserts because not all the stalls belong to ABH.
Press person: When compared to your other opponents, do you think you have what it takes for this post?
Miss Akemu: I have what it takes to become the next Chairperson of the hall because over the past tenure, I have learnt how to effectively run ABH as an observer and by actively helping out in the management of the hall week with the other members of the executive council, I have been able to identify the problems we are currently facing, proffer probable solutions and I have been able to do a feasibility study, say, what the odds are for fixing the machine, how to get it and the alternatives. I have been able to consider all aspects of the problem and proffer solution for it which is included in my manifesto. I have also been able to interact with members of the hall management because there’s no way our demands as students, from repairs to functioning of anything would work if we do not have a good working relationship with the hall management. As I have explained previously, most of our major challenges are not what the executive council can fix, they can only advocate because, concerning water and sewage, these are UI’s properties and the University of Ibadan doesn’t allow students to fix their properties, they usually fix it from Works. So, it needs a good working relationship with the hall management which I have been able to build. Also, I believe I know how to manage people from running my ministry and publicity committee, such that, when challenges arose, I was able to step up to them and do what had to be done irrespective of what was happening at that time. I knew I had work to do and I couldn’t give an excuse, so I did all I could do to ensure that my ministry and the hall week publicity committee ran smoothly.
Press person: As the information minister of this tenure, what new thing did you introduce and implement in the ministry?
Miss Akemu: As the head of the information ministry, COM-UI had been a personal project for me because at the beginning of the tenure, I got feedbacks on how it had been working before, how one had to go physically to people’s rooms to get pins, submit documents to create an account and pay in cash. I realized that it was a waste of time especially if the information minister wasn’t around. So, I rebranded it into an entirely online process. You didn’t have to see me or talk personally to me to get information concerning COM-UI. Also, because of how effectively I wanted it to run, I changed by personal WhatsApp account to a business WhatsApp account so that when you send me message, you get an automated response about all you need to get the pin, you send them and as soon as I get them, I reply. This is so that you don’t have to come personally to look for me or to pay money. You don’t have to look for change or where to print. So I ensured that people got pins and soon as possible.
Press person: So recently, there was an issue between some Brownites and the Hall Chairperson. What would you have done differently without escalating the issue if you were elected for the post and encountered such as issue?
Miss Akemu: In my relation with people, approach matters. So, the way you approach people concerning a seemingly small subject determines how the person would respond. I wasn’t there, I didn’t know how he approached them and I didn’t know the people at the quadrangle replied to him. I only heard ‘he said this’ ‘he did this’ ‘he did that’. But if I were the hall chairperson and some Brownites had called that some people were making noise at the quadrangle, I would go downstairs, greet them and say ‘guys how far, let’s turn off this thing, you people are making noise’. If they say they need sometime, say, 30minutes to enjoy themselves, I would then explain that time is running and some people have complained. If it’s 30minutes, I would get back to Brownites and tell them that these people said 30minutes then I would tell them to hurry up and round up. Because this would avoid arguments and back-and-forth. But I’d I had explained to them and they said no or refused to listen, I believe I would have been able to explain to them and convinced them that some people had to read and if not, I would have looked for another alternative to ensure they left there as soon as possible. But calling security operatives and hall warden was a lot.
Press person: Finally, why should Brownites vote for you as their next hall Chairperson?
Miss Akemu: I believe I’m the best candidate for the job. One, because of my experience as the outgoing information minister and seeing how to run the hall. Two, I understand that most of our problems are what the hall management can help with and building a working relationship with them is very important. Three, I believe that the quality of being a Brownite is not by having a room or whether you’re accommodated in the hall or not. As far as you’re a clinical student of the University of Ibadan in the departments of medicine, dentistry, medical laboratory science and physiotherapy, then you’re a Brownite and your interests as far as it relates to accommodation matters to me. I believe I can work with executives of the associations to ensure that their interests are brought before the hall management to ensure we all have a smooth, easy and enjoyable time in ABH.
Press person: Thank you very much. That will be all for now.