STILL ON “BROXIT”:Questions behind the tale of ABH’s threatened exit from TLDS
-By Titus Adekunle, ABH PRESS
It would be ridiculous if a surgeon, no matter his quality, decides to take his own child under the scalpel. The surgery better not go wrong. This perhaps explains the grievance the Citizens of Alexander Brown Hall bore the night the Hall crashed out of Jaw War 2018. Significantly not just because they felt their speeches were winning, but the questioned appropriateness of the President of the Literary and Debating Society speaking. This is no way to doubt the quality of the judges but if really they could totally sever ties with the Speaker. As the competition hits the final this Friday, it would be appropriate to answer some questions.
Did someone see this coming?
As Sadik Gbenga was introduced by compere, you could imagine the shock on the face of the campus journalist who asked if the “central” Literary and Debating Society President would be speaking during the competition at the Press Conference that held before the competition kicked off. The question was a reaction to a similar incidence last year where the appropriateness of the then President, Miss Opeyemi Oluwaseun speaking at the event was put to question. Hence, the controversy did not just start and the President knew this. The President emphatically answered, “The Constitution does not disapprove me from speaking, but I will not be speaking”. So when the Alexander Brown Hall Press gathered from a member of the Tedder Hall Literary and Debating Society that Mr. Sadik Gbenga would be speaking, it was more rude shock than a polite one because we all felt he understood the concerns of the person who asked the question. And since he was dressed as he did on many other days of the competition, no one could tell he was actually speaking.
What was the plan?
Considering that Tedder Hall is a hall blessed with Speakers, could they ever get to a point where the President would be their last resort? Interestingly, the rejoinder from the Public Relations Officer of the Society carefully omitted the response of the President at the Press Conference and the allayed fear. As the most successful hall in terms of Jaw War and UI public speaking in general, they could not suddenly be short of speakers, not at the semi finals. It then begs the question of whether that was indeed the plan – use the President for an easier win. No, we cannot speak for them.
However, when confronted with his words at the press conference at the end of the day’s event, Mr. Sadik Gbenga simply asked not to make headlines – a wish we would gladly honour.
An article by Ibrahim Ayobami Balogun, a pressman and member of Lord Tedder Hall Literally and Debating Society failed to allay these fears as he only dwelt on misappropriating a report by Joseph Edun of the Alexander Brown Hall. While the article was from Edun Joseph’s pen, it represented the grievance of many Brownites and did not warrant the unnecessary bashing from Ibrahim Ayobami who also represented his opinions and those of many members of the hall – thus falling for the acclaimed “ill” he was trying to correct
Remarking, a renowned UI public speaker and serving senator of the Literary and Debating Society said “Tedder had hit a brick wall and had to resort to Gbenga for a win. It is not against the rule but it is very wrong”. While it is quite understandable that Alexander Brown Hall poses a threat in public speaking, it would be great naiveness to pull a trump card
Is the “Broexit” reaction appropriate?
No one judges a man by the way he chooses to grieve especially if you are not in his shoes. The reaction of the Alexander Brown Hall Literary and Debating Society to pull out of the Literary and Debating Society, UI has been termed “overreaction” by many. However, the reaction was only coming at the end of perhaps, observed “misjudgments”. The road to the Semis was nearly by a yet-to-be understood 9-point loss to Kuti Hall in the first round. Alexander Brown Hall got
A reliable source confirmed for us that the society lost by average of 13 points on the judging sheets of two out of the three judges thereby causing the wide margin. However, some members of the Kuti Hall Literary and Debating Society did not also believe the margin and a member of the executive council of the Kuti Hall’s society explicitly said there was no way they won by that margin. We later gathered that the margin came on the grounds of “persuasiveness”.
Where from here?
Many notable members of The Society have spoken out with sore displeasure and birthed the “Broexit” – a threat to leave the Central Literary and Debating Society which seemed to have dialed down. If the “Broexit” happens, would it also mean Dentistry and Clinical Sciences would be pulling out?
A member of the aggrieved society remarked that she did not know those who suggested the decision but thinks the action should be reconsidered especially for those who would be in the society years later.
While we acclaim the well loved event has flaws, it would admirable if these loopholes are fixed. Meanwhile, fingers crossed ahead of November 9.