ABH DECIDES 2024: Interview with Mr. Charles Ofoma, Aspirant for Health and Sanitation Minister


The Health and Sanitation Ministry is no doubt one that directly affects the welfare of Brownites in diverse ways. From water to sanitation, rats and hygeine amongst other things, the Health and Sanitation Minister usually has their work cut out for them.

As it currently stands, there are still two candidates vying for the prestigious post of the ABH Health and Sanitation Minister. The ABH Press interviewed one of the aspirants,  Mr. Ofoma Izuchukwu Charles and here is how it went:

Hello Mr. Ofoma, please can you introduce yourself?

My name is Ofoma Izuchukwu Charles, I’m a 400 level medical student and I’m also a Brownite. I’m currently serving as a member of the Health and Sanitation Committee and I’m currently vying for the position of the the Health and Sanitation Minister. I love long walks.

Are there any other hobbies or fun facts about you?

I don’t read social cues.

Although you mentioned earlier that you have been serving in the Health and Sanitation Committee, what exactly was your motivation for wanting to run?

Since when I moved here and I saw how ABH was- that was last year April- the area that used to be the dumpsite back then was very terrible; whenever it rained you’d see styrofoam packs everywhere and then the rats. I thought that something can be done about these. These were the problems I knew firsthand and when I joined the committee I knew more about the problems that were going on healthwise in ABH and I felt they were issues I wanted to contribute to changing. I’m not saying the status quo is bad but we have set a standard because, I’ve worked with the current tenure and I know we have done a lot of work. The incinerator is working now, the styrofoam packs are no longer in use, and rats in the hall have reduced. So, you can see that we have set a good precedent and I intend to build upon that.

Your answer has set the tone for my next question. Can you highlight the achievements made by this tenure so far and how you intend to improve on them?

Like I said, the dumpsite out there that used to be an eye sore has been done away with, the incinerator, the two clean up drives we had, the second which happened before the accreditation process. Also, rats have reduced in ABH. I don’t think people give credit for that because, I was on a ground floor and I knew what rats did to me. I’m not saying they have been completely eradicated but compared to where we were last year, there’s significant improvement. For things to improve on, I would say our waste sorting, I know we’ve released videos about it but I believe more can be done such as placing bins in more strategic places. For instance, I noticed after a football match that there were litters of nylons where the footballers played so, it wouldn’t hurt to put a bin there. The pool table area as well considering the number of people that use the area. There are still things to be done, definitely.

So, are Brownites set to experience a complete eradication or annihilation of rats if you’re elected?

I can’t say that there will be a complete eradication but there will be improvement in pest control. Rats are not the only pests around, on four occasions around the female blocks there have been incidences of snakes. So, pest control will definitely be one of the things I’ll be addressing.

That’s fine. What are your plans concerning this post?

I would say come for manifesto night but I can give snippets: my plan is to address ABH as a whole: Brownites, food, water and leaving an impact on the hall, on Brownites and on the community around as well. My plan would address those areas but to get into its nitty gritty, come for manifesto night.

Wow. Okay, so what would you say makes you the perfect man for the post?

I would say I’ve always been passionate about keeping any space I’m in clean, if not the same, even cleaner than I met it. I did this with the area I stayed in back in my preclinical days. Shout out to my Irawo family. I saw an opportunity to do this on a larger scale with ABH, and that was why I joined the committee. I was like, I cannot just fold my arms and watch a place that I am going to be living in look this way, so I would love to do my part to make sure the environment is clean.

I’m not sure if your campaign has a slogan yet, but if it does, what is it and what inspired it?

“Raising the standards”. This came from noting that a standard has been set by the current tenure because we have done a lot and I intend to raise that standard. My hope is that looking forward, future Health and Sanitation Ministers after me will keep raising that standard.

What makes you think you’re the better candidate because as we all know there is another candidate vying for the same position?

First of all, I would like to say that my candidacy is independent of whoever is running. I’m running because I believe I have the experience,  competence, passion and commitment necessary to handle the position to make a cleaner ABH and healthier Brownites. 

Concerning competence, I know you mentioned been part of the Health and Sanitation Committee but have there been areas where you had leadership experience and how was the team work experience?

Oh yes, for the movie night I was in charge of the publicity. I was working with the Information Minister and the Graphics Designer to ensure that our graphics and our adverts for the movie nights were always getting out. My team members were cooperative, I really loved working with them.

Did you come across any challeneges and how did you resolve them?

None really. Prompt communication I feel is very good. What I’m trying to say is that I always communicated promptly so there weren’t any issues. There could have been issues but because I communicated promptly, there weren’t.

What core values do you hold on to that have shaped you thus far and would also shape your future leadership if you’re elected?

Number one, kindness. There’s no need to go out of your way to be mean to anybody. Number two, punctuality. It shows that you respect the time of person you arranged the meeting with. I believe that coming at the exact time is already latecoming, like I was here ten minutes before the exact time for this interview. Number three, hardwork. Number four, honesty. As an adult, I don’t see any reason why you should lie to a fellow individual when you’re not in Primary School. No one is going to beat you, the worst is you face the consequences of your actions which is part of being responsible.

Have there been any challenges you’ve identified in the current tenure that you plan to address?

Yes, there are challenges. I had mentioned before that the waste sorting is not as optimal as it should be. We’ve done a lot, but definitely a lot more can still be done with regards to labeling the bins with something more permanent. I noticed that the labels, the stickers, and the flyers are not so permament because the cleaners come empty the bins, and so there’s frequent movement, so maybe something like painting would work. The other challenges would be the urinals. Before the accreditation, the urinals in some male blocks were disconnected and there were plans to fix them but they fell through. Those are the ones at the top of my head now. Also, frequency of cafeteria reviews because the current state of cleanliness of the cafeteria is not the best yet. From my  personal observation, and doing the ground work of meeting people and asking them, most have pointed out to the fact that the cafeteria is not as clean as it should be.

Considering that the cleaners play a vital role in ensuring ABH is kept clean, how do you plan to work with them and have you observed that there are certain things they can do better?

Currently, I have a good working relationship with the cleaners. Regarding their attitude to work, I would say, this morale-related. It’s not a secret that they are not been renumerated well. I feel if we can do something to boost their morale, it would improve their overall attitude to work, even though they’re doing a tremendous job already. I have been speaking to a few and I can also see that they are commited to their work. Every Monday to Saturday, they show up to work, and Wednesdays and Fridays they wash the curtains. I have been thinking of a welfare programme where Brownites could contribute to. We’ve done something similar on my floor last year December. We gathered money to get our cleaner something for Christmas. I personally give to the cleaner from time to time. And sometimes, my helping her is just giving a listening ear while she unburdens.

This is the final question for this interview, if you’re elected into the office of Health and Sanitation Minister what are the first three things you would do to raise Brownite’s confidence in your capacity to perform?

That would involve going into my plans and that’s reserved for Manifesto Night. But I can give one. The first thing is a very strict cafeteria review, and giving sanctions where necessary. I will be working with the Social and Buttery Minister to ensure that something is done about that. The other plans, they are cooked and reserved for manifesto night.

This marks the end of the interview, thank you for having me Mr. Ofoma and  I wish you the best in the elections.


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