Mr Umukoro Oghenero Goodnews is a 400-level Medical student contesting for the position of the Hall Secretary of Alexander Brown Hall. Since he declared intent, some Brownites have had doubts as regards his eligibility having not served in any committee relating to his intending position. ABH Press interviewed him to listen to his side of the story as well as his plans for Brownites if elected.

Pressman: Please introduce yourself.

Mr Goodnews: My name is Umukoro Oghenero Goodnews. I am a 400-level Medical student at the University of Ibadan and an aspirant for the position of Hall Secretary.

Pressman: What motivated you to contest for this position?

Mr Goodnews: I have a flair for anything secretariat. Perhaps because I have been Secretary on several occasions. As regards ABH, it has its peculiarities, the Hall secretary’s office is a backbone that assists other offices to achieve their goals. Also, it is an opportunity to offer services directly to Brownites.

Pressman: What prior experiences have you had regarding this position?

Mr Goodnews: Over the years, I have had several experiences both within and outside the school environment. This includes serving as the Hall Secretary of Sultan Bello Hall. In the religious setting, I have served as secretary on different committees. The office of the Hall Secretary of ABH is charged with responsibilities regarding academics, symposium and quiz and I have served on these committees in the University of Ibadan Medical Students Association (UIMSA).

Pressman: In what capacity have you served Brownites?

Mr Goodnews: Frankly speaking, I have not served in any of the official committees. However, indirectly I have been able to provide value to the people around me.

Pressman: Could this be an issue in your contesting for elections?

Mr Goodnews: It is currently an issue; this is why I have suspended campaigns for now. I am trying to rectify it with the electoral committee. The Secretariat committee was set up at the beginning of the tenure and I was unaware of this. I also learnt that the link to join the symposium committee was sent twice but I was unaware. Although, the truth is that ignorance is not an excuse before the law. However, I am expecting a response from the electoral committee to know the way forward.

Pressman: If elected, what plans do you intend for Brownites?

Mr Goodnews: Besides the constitutional duties of correspondence, letters, minutes of minutes and so on. I have tagged my plans the ABH agenda, this spans across academics, building of soft and hard skills and other activities that will show that we have Brownites in mind. For academics, many Brownites are very good academically but beyond this, some skills cannot be learnt in the classroom, we would one day leave here and find ourselves in the workforce. What are those skills that we need to have to make us employable and able to work with people? These are some of the things that we would focus on.

Pressman: While serving in your previous positions, what challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

Mr Goodnews: One of them is having to work with people, human beings tend to have different perspectives about some things. Hence, it requires understanding, patience, and listening to people’s points of view to know how best to work with them.

Pressman: What challenges do you envisage if you are eventually elected and how would you circumvent it?

Mr Goodnews: Working with people is one that I foresee but what I would do is have a one-on-one discussion to harmonise our thoughts and plans so that we can reach a middle ground

Pressman: In this tenure, there has been a lot of fumigation in the reading room and some Brownites that frequent the reading room have complained that it is too persistent. If elected, how do you solve this problem?

Mr Goodnews: I believe that the reason for this is because there is a need for it. Because after fumigation there are still bedbugs left. Hence, it is not just to fumigate the reading room but to make Brownites aware of the importance of fumigating their rooms of bedbugs, to avoid re-infestation of the reading room.

Pressman: If elected, you would also be the head of the academic committee in ABH, what plan do you have for Brownites?

Mr Goodnews: I have discussed with the current General Secretary of the current state and what needs to be done as regards the academic committee. I plan on bringing academic coordinators from the four departments, across the various levels as well as other individuals who are interested to find out the challenges peculiar to various departments and classes and how we can come in.

Pressman: What loopholes did you notice in this administration and what do you think can be done better?

Mr Goodnews: The current Hall Secretary put in so much effort as regards the condition of the reading room. From my discussion with him, he had plans for the academic committee but unfortunately, only four persons indicated interest in joining the academic committee. I plan to reach out to people from different classes who are interested in academics to come on board so that there would not be a problem with human resources and our plans will be easier to achieve. He also had a plan as regards digital for the reading room but finance was an issue. However, with more hands, we can reach out to people to provide finances.

Pressman: What makes you better than your opponent?

Mr Goodnews: I have an opponent who is a current executive and a hardworking one for that matter so I do not doubt the fact that he is good. However, we would make our plans known to Brownites and they would choose who they want to serve them. I am not one to point out a person’s weakness, it is not in my being. Everyone has their goodness inherent to them.

Pressman: What qualities do you think are unique to you and would help you if you eventually become Hall Secretary?

Mr Goodnews: Good interpersonal relations, no matter the difficulty of the situation, I can have a one-on-one conversation. I also recognize the place of talent inherent in individuals and the ability to harness what people can offer. I am open to counsel and advice from people. I believe that we can learn, unlearn and relearn.

Pressman: What are your closing remarks

Mr Goodnews: The office of the Hall Secretary is unique in its way. Although it might not appear to be an office that will serve Brownites directly, it can serve them through activities that they can benefit from. As the election approaches I urge every contestant to embrace the spirit of brotherhood, we are not contesting to pull down one another, we are one during and after elections. Brownites should also look out for what a person can offer in selecting their candidate.

Pressman: Thank you for your time

Mr Goodnews: Thank you


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