The new S.U.G President of the University Of Lagos, Martin Abiodun recently had an exclusive interview with Mr. Oyede Saheed. He reveals how he emerged as President, his aspirations for the union and many more.
My name is Martin Abiodun from the Faculty of Education, Department of Science and Technology, technical education as a cohort. I am actually studying Electrical Electronics. I am the current S.U.G President of the University of Lagos in which we just concluded the election recently. I am a Lagosian from Lagos Island. I was formerly a student of the Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka.
HOW DID YOU EMERGE AS THE PRESIDENT?
I emerged due to what the students see as their need, because they need somebody that will represent their interest. You can detect that from the margin of their votes, students actually came out massively to vote for me. It shows that they actually want me in that position. My advice to others is that they should do what they believe in and do it right, a time will come when people would actually use it as a reference point for them.
HAS S.U.G UNILAG COME TO STAY?
Yes. It has come and it has come to stay. Longevity of this union is part of my vision for this administration. How we are going to sustain it that the next generation will continue to make our administration as a reference point in whatever things they want to do is our major concern. It has come and it has come to stay.
ANY RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER S.U.G?
Actually, before now; I’ve been a student activist and have been working with different personalities and different student union bodies across West Africa. I have met and discussed with the newly elected S.U.G President of LASU and some other groups like that. We have a group which where we talk and share advice together.
PROGRAM OF THE UNION FOR STUDENTS?
We have so many things to offer within the short period of time, even though we have a short period to operate, we still have many things to offer. Part of it, if you can observe; we are having a football show at the Amphitheatre showing the quarter finals league match. Majorly, what students wants from any student union like ours is their welfare and that is the major and core of our motive of coming into this position and we are working tirelessly to get it across to them.
FUNDING OF THE UNION:
People have interest in UNILAG because UNILAG itself is a brand. If you want to get the money to do your program, you will surely get it, just send your program out, people are ready to sponsor it. In that light, we believe that we can get things done. Actually, the school promised to give us some subvention for this regime to pick up but we are not relying on that because it is meager and it might not take to anywhere, even we don’t know the amount they are going to give us at the moment and we have started doing things. We believe that things will surely get better.
PRO-STUDENT OR PRO-MANAGEMENT GOVERNMENT:
It is going to be pro-student. A union body like this is a pressure group and it is going to stand for the interest of the students. The students came from their comfort zone to vote for me, that is even enough for me to give back to them. Even though we know that Aluta these days is not Aluta of violence, there are many ways we can use to get our voices heard by the management and some other quarters that we want to hear our voice and we are going to be diplomatic and pragmatic in our decisions.
THE SUPPORT OF THE STUDENTS:
Actually, we have their support. If we don’t have their support, we won’t have emerged. Talking about the election, my faculty is the third in terms of number of student population; we have Sciences, Business administration then education. If you talk about the population from Idi-araba alone, i.e college of medicine, their population together alone is bigger than all the population from different faculties here and for me to have emerged, that means I would have gotten different votes from various students, more over; you can see students are here from various faculties to pay homage because they actually supported me.
YOUR TAKE ON NIGERIA POLITICS:
I’m so happy for the government we have, I mean the government of President Jonathan. If it were to be another person, he won’t have taken the defeat like that. I think he is a hero at the moment and it also shows that if you are in power and you are not doing anything, people are now more enlightened to decide your fate when you aspire to come back for their mandate. It shows that as a country, we are now getting to where we want; change is now what is in vogue. Whoever does something wrong would be changed and I love that spirit. If the incoming government also does otherwise, we will change them with our votes. I love the whole system and the sportsmanship spirit they are bringing on board. May God continue to bless Nigeria.
I won’t be stagnant in position, I would continue to move forward but at the moment, I am still chewing something. Let me finish what I am chewing then I will determine the next step.
Credit: Oyede Saheed a.k.a Chief Human being
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