Beyond the Glistening Optics: Questions We Need to Ask Oni Ayotunde


Donald Trump, Oni Ayotunde and George Washington – can you guess the imposter? If your pick was Oni Ayotunde, you would be wrong. Donald Trump is the current holder of the least experienced American President till date, and interestingly, the least experienced of this trio prior to taking the most prestigious public servant role. There are however certain traits common to Donald Trump and Oni Ayotunde who is one of the aspirants jostling for the Hall Chairperson of Alexander Brown Hall. These include impeachment, “seducing” the electorate and unfulfilled campaign promises. . 

It would seem that the residents of Alexander Brown Hall won’t be catching a break anytime soon after experiencing an health week that overlapped with a record 17-day lack of electricity, and are now being bombarded with banners, broadcast messages and flyers everywhere they look – a necessary nuisance one would have to admit. After all, Brownites and concerned stakeholders complained about the political apathy last session so it is refreshing seeing how competitive the polls promises to be this session. However, we can’t afford to be lost in the euphoria of this new dispensation. There are unprecedented villains in the horizon as Brownites are faced with challenges such as access to water and accommodation – needs that fall into Class 1 of Pavlov’s hierarchy. Selecting who gets to pilot this ship across the tempest is one that needs meticulous attention. It is sacrosanct for us to x-ray our choices; what lies beyond the swelling skin. To get to the bone of the matter, this article will do a deep dive into the candidacy of Oni Ayotunde – his antecedents, performances while holding public offices – and ultimately end with charging and inspiring Brownites on the right questions to ask the next time they see a campaign material from the Oni Ayotunde camp.

History of Impeachment 

If the Nigerian campus be a microcosm of Nigeria itself, it should be no surprise that impeachments are as rare in the student political space in the University of Ibadan as in mainstream Nigerian politics. The reason for this not far-fetched – it will take a whole lot to break the 2-factor authentication that seals public office holders into place. While the populace holds the ultimate powers of impeachment in theory, it will also take a vote of no-confidence by the system on an individual before such eventually happens. Consequently, an office holder may have lost the trust of the public; but till the powers that be sanctions such individual unfit to be in office, they may retain their office. The case with Donald Trump comes to mind where he was impeached twice but was never convicted on both occasions.

Similar fortune however failed to smile on Oni Ayotunde when he served as a senator for his class when he was in 200 level. What is most interesting is perhaps the reason for the impeachment. Ayotunde broke the rules of the senate by missing several meetings which eventually led to his dismissal from the Senate. One can argue that perhaps he was involved in some demanding activities that required his attention and made him unable to honour the duty and obligation that had been entrusted to him by his class. However, there is always the honourable option of resigning when such situations arise. But he didn’t. If that appeared very familiar, it is because it is one of the hallmarks of a Nigerian politician – rather slaughter your integrity on the temple of political office than honourably resign.

This calls into question Ayotunde’s sense of propriety and respect for rules. But perhaps Ayotunde has learned his lessons from such an ordeal; he’s almost seeing his current position as the Hall’s Information Minister to its end anyway. However, there is something fundamental about rebels; they hardly change.


Ayotunde Oni – booted out of the Senate in 2019 but became a beloved Information Minister in 2024; the same man in 5 years. The career trajectory of Oni Ayotunde is an interesting one. He retired to football management after his spell at the Senate with claims that he also served in certain committees in the hall. However, he came out of political obscurity last session to occupy one of the seats on the executive council that was begging to be occupied, through a bye-election. While bye-elections are not inherently bad, they speak volumes about the intent and preparedness of a candidate who came in via this process. 

Some of such candidates are considered an opportunist who are mainly driven by personal interests and benefits that come with the role. A common benefit craved by many is the automatic accommodation slot given to executives in the hall which cannot accommodate all students. There are claims that the reason Ayotunde didn’t contest during the election is not a lack of courage but his inability to meet the criteria of having prior experience as a member of a relevant committee. It however doesn’t require a microscope to see the flimsiness in such a rhetoric. This will only mean that as at last session, he had no idea he would be running for the office of the Information Minister. This can also be considered as an effort to subvert extant rules – understandable for a political rookie or freshman, but suspicious for someone with the experience he has.

Ultimately, let’s err on the side of good intent. Let’s assume Oni Ayotunde somehow came from political obscurity with a clear vision and commensurate passion to return the glory of the hall’s image. He delivered with some sort of heroics during the 16-day blackout. Some members of the executive council were also impressed with his workrate. So let’s say he’s a changed man but besides acts of generosity and “brown hugs”, the best way to assess an executive is via their manifesto.

Manifesto of Unfulfilled Promises

A cursory glance at the 3-page document Ayotunde Oni presented to the Hall Assembly and one thing is clear – it is devoid of novelty safe for a few instances. 75% of his plans are best considered housekeeping duties that are considered normal routines of the Information Minister. The section that seems to contain some novelty is monthly newsletters under his publication plans and the addition of a LinkedIn page under his plans for publicity; both of which are yet to manifest. 

manifesto of Oni Ayotunde
A section of Oni Ayotunde’s Manifesto as Information Minister
The other section of the above manifesto

Some may find this reality jarring because he’s considered to be very active in the hall by many, but it’s helpful to be reminded that the previous tenure had a relatively non-existent Information Minister. Essentially, Ayotunde inherited an office where there was no bar to raise. So when you compare his performance to a largely vacant stool, he’s not doing bad. But don’t Brownites deserve more than the basics that breed nothing but stagnancy? When will Ayotunde Oni fulfill his manifesto promises that are yet to manifest? Why has there been no implementation of these ideas?

As the adage goes, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Besides a token of goodwill and an unspectacular but successful health week, it’s hard to see how Oni Ayotunde has demonstrated a sterling antecedent that should earn him the role of the number one student in Alexander Brown Hall. Brownites are urged to pay meticulous attention to the words, antics, and promises as the election approaches. There are a myriad of questions to be asked and hopefully, this article has provided a guardrail to convey these questions. Questions that should be asked during the Manifesto and Press Night. Questions that we should continue to ask to keep officeholders accountable after the election. We can’t afford to have a candidate who will not be ready to go the extra mile to fight for the interest of Brownites while following extant rules. The future of Brownites is one that more blackouts will plague and it will take a chairperson who will not tire from bearing the torch to guide us safely through the darkness.

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