“The position of the vice president is not a central experience guided position,” Damola Obisesan says.
Still on the 2018 UIMSA Elections, The ABH press had an in-depth conversation with Damola Obisesan, an aspirant for the position of Vice president of the University of Ibadan Medical Students’ Association (UIMSA) who also happens to be an incumbent senator of the association. During the discussion, he spoke extensively about his ambitions and also gave his opinions on certain issues. Enjoy!
Can you briefly introduce yourself?
Can you briefly introduce yourself?
I’m Damola Obisesan, I’m a 600 level medical student of the University of Ibadan. I’m a current senator in my class and I’m a vice presidency aspirant in the forthcoming UIMSA elections. I have served UIMSA in a number of committees and I believe I can contribute more due to my level of experience and skills I’ve acquired. Thank you
What inspired you to study medicine and surgery?
To me, medicine is an opportunity to contribute to my society. It has always been an inner quest on my mind to do my quota and contribute to my society and people around me. I believe that we have to start from the people around us in order to reach the world. I’m quite creative and I love to do things with my hands so it has always been a dream for me to study this course and practice surgery.
Okay. What other things take your time apart from studying this course?
I do a lot of things, let me start with reading. I spend a big chunk of my time reading about technology because I’m very interested in that field; I read about skills, I’m interested in gaining skills and developing myself; I also read about leadership and communication skills. I join organizations that afford me the opportunity to practice what I read about. I also engage in a number of humanitarian activities; I’m a member of the Hamstrings club which is a socio-philanthropic club that gives to the society; I’m also the president of the Rotaract club which is known for its humanitarian services. So, when I’m not studying medicine, I gain skills, develop myself and giving back to the society.
Seems you are into a lot. Can you tell us about your political and non-political positions within and without UIMSA?
Back when I was a student of Biochemistry in 100 level, I was the interim class representative; but when I crossed over to medicine and surgery, I became more focused on improving my academic life and this continued from 200 level through 400 level. In 500 level, I joined the UIMSA clinical press in an attempt to develop my literary skills, I also saw an opportunity to contribute to my class and that’s why I opted for the UIMSA senate. After winning the election, I joined a number of committees and was given various appointments within the senate. I also joined about five committees in ABH and was active during the hall week last year.
That is quite a journey! I didn’t fail to notice that a lot of these positions were recent ones, what inspired the sudden procreative nature?
I became more conscious of opportunities to participate and give more to people around me. I saw those opportunities as avenues to learn and participate. When I joined these committees, I was able to learn from them and know the nitty-gritty, I believe that human beings should be complete. Events like CHAP and symposia have the ability to impart something positive into people’s lives, being on the planning committees provided an opportunity to learn and give back to the community.
What is your plan for UIMSA if elected into office?
Asides carrying out my constitutional duties, I intend on assisting the preclinical special duties officer in discharging his/her duties, strengthening the academic life of the preclinical school. I also intend on working with the class representatives in the clinical school in a bid to prevent the clashing of lecture venues. I plan on making the welfare of the members of the association better, relieving some of the burden they carry during exam periods. I intend to set up committees with the aim of fundraising as it is important in the running of an organization.
Do you have any future political plans?
I’m interested in the affairs of my country, I am politically minded but I do not have clear cut paths on my mind at this moment.
Some members of UIMSA feel that your opponent has more experience in UIMSA politics than you have, what do you have to say about that?
The position of the vice president is not a central experience guided position; it is a nitty-gritty one in the sense that, the office in question is supposed to have clear cut roles. It goes beyond centrally planning for events. My opponent can boast of experience as a central person in UIMSA – overseeing what has been done, disbursing funds as a treasurer. She has been involved in the central planning but she did not delve into those activities, I on the other hand was involved in them.
Can you tell us why UIMSAites should vote for you instead of your opponent?
People should vote for me instead of her because I have the experience needed in each of the activities of the vice president. I didn’t just experience these activities, I learnt from them.
Do you have a campaign slogan?
Yes, I do. My slogan is Development ’18.
Can you tell us more about the slogan. What does it mean?
It means that we shouldn’t just while away time but we should develop ourselves. I did that because, in the upcoming tenure I want to make sure that we learn from the activities we engage in and know why we do the things we do so that we can all boast of being better students at the end of the day.
What are your thoughts about the online voting system?
It is a new and very good development because the world around us getting more digital everyday but I think that the electoral committee should take into cognisance that this is the first time the system is going to be used. I feel that provisions for a paper ballot system should be made because some electorates might not be able to vote online on the Election Day due to one reason or the other. We as an association should be able to carry out activities that involve everyone.
We have come to the end of this interview, thank you very much.
Thank you for having me.