For every problem I have identified, I have a solution— Jesufemi Adeyeye, Aspirant for Health and Sanitation Ministry
ABH Press last week held an interview with one of the aspirants in the coming ABH Elections, Jesufemi Adeyeye, who is vying for the office of the Health and Sanitation Minister. Below contains an account of the discourse. Enjoy!
Please introduce yourself.
I am Jesufemi Adeyinka Adeyeye. I am a member of the 2019 MBBS Class. One thing that everybody knows about me is that I am very tall. I am 6′ 4″.
You will be going for the office of the Health and Sanitation Minister in the coming ABH Elections.
For how long have you been nursing this ambition?
Well, I will say since last year December. I had issues with the fact that the hall was always dirty on weekends. I also had issues with the dumpsite. I thought to myself, “I would like to work.” I planned to work with the Hall Minister then but he told me that I would be unable to join the committee as the committee had already been ratified. It was late for me to join but I still wanted to work. So, I decided I would run for this office.
Before now, have you served the hall in any capacity?
I was in the Information ministry during the tenure of Isa Folajomi. Also, anytime I see any problem around the hall, I always try to join in finding solutions to them.
Can you name some of those problems you’ve been involved in solving?
When the dumpsite was very full, I complained to the Porters on about two to three occasions.
After our volleyball matches on Saturday mornings, I try as much as possible to clear nylons which might have littered the surroundings. I also try to involve my teammates.
There have also been times when I have seen Brownites injured or sick and referred them to the then Health Minister, Thompson. I was also on the CHAP Planning Committee for ABH, although the CHAP did not eventually hold.
Why do you think you’re the right candidate for this job?
I really feel we need a passionate leader; someone who wants to see better for this hall. I have been planning this for months. I have been speaking with past Health and Sanitation Ministers and porters. I have been talking with Brownites, going from room to room asking about their problems. I believe ABH needs a passionate leader; someone who is ready to get things done.
I also believe ABH needs someone who is around, someone who stays in the hall, someone who sees all these problems, someone who understands and has experienced the issues that we are facing and someone who is ready to serve this hall.
So you’re saying that being passionate, being around and seeing these problems are the things that make you the right candidate for this job.
I said that because if you’re not in the hall, there is no way you’re going to see the problems we are trying to solve in the first place. You are coming to the position but you don’t know what the issues are. Also, being the Health and Sanitation Minister is really tasking, so ABH needs someone who is always around because he would be in charge of the first aid box and would also be the one to ensure that water is always pumped when there is light.
Does that mean your opponent is not always present?
I heard that she didn’t stay in the hall this past year. I’m not sure but that was what I heard. ABH needs someone who is around and knows these problems.
But many of us are also around and we know these problems too. Do you think merely having an insight into these problems makes one capable of solving them?
The first step to solving any problem is to be able to identify the problems. Now I have made you know that I have identified the problems facing the hall and I’m still identifying the problems, going from room to room to talk with Brownites. For every problem I have seen, I have come up with a solution. I have spoken with previous Health Ministers, executives, the present Head of Porters and Brownites to hear what they think about solving these problems. I have plans to solve these problems. What is left is to execute these plans which is why I am running for this position.
Evaluate the past HSM’s performance on a scale of 10.
5/10. I would not say Ebiaku Thompson did nothing during his tenure. During the COVID-19 period, I got COVID. He worked very hard and made sacrifices to get us drugs. He also organised the tank washing exercise. But he fell short of some of his duties and didn’t fulfill some of his promises, which was why he was deemed to have not served.
Can you highlight some of those duties you said he fell short of?
Although I wasn’t in the meeting where he was deemed to have not served, I heard that he didn’t fulfill a lot of his campaign promises and that the Hall Chairman was performing most of his duties in his stead. These were the things I heard; I don’t know about the specifics.
Considering the mistakes he made, what would you do differently?
About not fulfilling his promises either due to the fact that he set unrealistic goals or that he just didn’t do the work; I will make sure I don’t make such mistakes. All plans I have will be feasible, cost-effective and practical. At the same time, I would ensure the work is done efficiently making use of the members of my committee, if elected. I would also ensure that all people bring their primary concerns to the Hall Chairman. Another thing we will do is to give feedback to Brownites so that they know that their executive is working on their behalf. I believe that if you go too long without giving Brownites feedback, they might not know you’re working.
Are you saying you’re definitely going to perform better than Thompson?
You said one of the reasons Thompson was deemed to have not served was because he didn’t fulfill his promises. Can you give us some of your own plans?
Let me start with the dumpsite; the head of the porters said it’s supposed to be cleared three times weekly by the waste management team. The issue is that these people don’t come regularly. Another problem about the dumpsite is that there are no big waste bins for the dirt to be put into pending the time they come; so what cleaners do is that they just dump their wastes on the floor, which is wrong. When this is done, the dumpsite is exposed to rodents and birds that spread the wastes around and make it even worse.
My plan is to work with the head of the porters and possibly meet the Dean of Students’ Affairs if the need arises to ensure that the waste disposal team shows up according to schedule.
Secondly, there are empty tanks within the hall that are not in use. The plan is to reuse them. We can make the opening wider and turn them into bins which would hold the dirt pending when the waste disposal team would come to empty them. Part of my plans is to have a monthly cleanup exercise with volunteer Brownites and members of my committee.
As regards rat infestation in the hall, the plan is to make available bread laced with poison and put them around so as to kill the rats.
There’s the problem of fumes from the suya and barbecue vendors being a menace to the health of Brownites. What do you plan to do about this?
The problem is, the fumes get into an enclosed area—the TV Room—choking the people there. The plan is to ask the vendors to leave the place. But we have to propose where to stay. That will be beside the gate, but still within the hall.
The ABH constitution says that the Health and Sanitation Minister “shall ensure food in the cafeteria is cooked under hygienic conditions.” Can you highlight the factors contending against this?
I plan on making an assessment form that would be used to judge the state of the cafeteria. If they fall below standard, we’ll complain to them. But for now, I might not be able to identify the exact problems.
The ABH Cleaners play a major role in ensuring the cleanliness of the hall. How do you plan to make sure they continue to do what they are supposed to do, despite that they’re not being encouraged as they should?
We are going to have meetings with them and make them know that we see them. We would also find out what their complaints are and make them know we’ll work on them to make their job easier. I would also organise donations for them during festive seasons.
Looking at the state of the hall now, do you think there’s a need for a better sewage system?
Yes, especially for E and F blocks. From what I heard, they share one soakaway. What should be done is to dig a new soakaway though it might be costly. We are going to bring this up with the hall warden.
At times, the grasses in ABH are not cut at the appropriate time. How do you plan to check this?
Being in direct communication with those supposed to cut it, having a good relationship with them, reminding them and encouraging them to do their work. If they don’t, I’ll find out why. If it’s as a result of negligence, I’ll report it to the hall management.
Whenever there are bonfires, the quadrangle is always left grossly littered. What can you say about this?
It’s simple. At the point of getting permission from the hall, it has to be clearly stated that the association organising the bonfire is responsible for clearing the place after the bonfire; considering that the cleaners don’t come around on Sundays. If they refuse to do this, the association risks losing the possibility of holding another bonfire in the hall. UADS cleared the place after their own bonfire so it’s something that every other association can do.
Some time ago, the ABH Press released an article on Brownites turning the table tennis area into a dumpsite. The then Health Minister went and pasted that anyone caught would be made to pay a fine of 5000 Naira which might not be feasible. How would you curb Brownites from this behaviour?
The first thing is to identify the major problem. The problem is that there are no bins. If I were in his position, I would have done my best to provide enough bins. But even after that, there would be strong punitive measures for those who default. Guilty Non-Brownites should not be allowed back into the hall.
What can you say about your opponent?
I didn’t really notice her before now. From what I heard, she’s involved in extracurricular activities. She’s the current head of the Rotaract Club, UCH. From what I have heard, she’s a hardworking person.
What words do you have for Brownites out there?
Our hall really needs improvement in hygiene and sanitation. To achieve this, we need to elect the right leader for the job. I really implore all Brownites to come out for the press night and the manifesto night so that they can make the right choice. They should come out and ask all aspirants questions. Let’s hold our leaders more accountable.