This must indeed be a historical election for students of Great Ife . Not only did a female student summoned courage to contest as clerk, the election had the most successful debate and manifesto in history.
There was a mild drama at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, recently when a female student contested for the position of a clerk in the institution’s Students’ Union Representative Council election.
When the student, Miss Tinuade Adewole, stood up to deliver her manifesto, students, security officials and journalists at the venue were astonished.
A deafening silence descended on the venue of the election, as she stepped on a podium to deliver her manifesto. Afterwards, the atmosphere became charged just as the votes were about to be counted.
Adewole, who is a 300 level student of the Department of English, said she decided to contest in the election to motivate other female undergraduates in Nigerian universities to aspire for any leadership position of their choice.
“One day, I hope to see a female student emerge as the Students’ Union president in this university. I appreciate the support and I won’t be discouraged to participate in any intellectually-guided election,” she added.
Although she eventually lost the election with a difference of seven votes, Adewole’s effort has been commended by members of the university community.
She emerged the first runner-up after defeating three other male contestants for the same position. With this, Adewole became the first female to fight for the post in the history of student unionism in the institution.
Emerging victorious in the Central Executive Council election and sworn-in are Ibukun Oyekan as President; Tosin Jacob, Vice-President; Boluwatife Adeoluwa, Secretary General; Oluwaseun Oyebanjo, Assistant Secretary General; Oyediji Simon, Public Relations Officer.
Others are Kehinde omisakin who emerged as Financial Secretary; Ajiboye Adekanmi, Welfare Director; Afolabi Adedayo, Director of Socials and Culture; Adewumi Micheal, Director of Sports.
In the Students’ Representative Council election, Faleye Temitope, Onamide Oluwafemi and Iyiola Oluwatosin emerged as the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Clerk respectively.
Oluwatosin emerged after defeating Adewole with seven votes, and the second runner-up having 29 votes.
Chairman of the electoral commission, Fadele Olusola, commended the contestants for their peaceful conduct throughout the electioneering period.
He expressed delight with the level of confidence displayed by the female contestant for clerkship position, saying it was a wake-up call for others.
According to him, the peaceful and unbiased conduct of the election is worthy of emulation by politicians and the electoral commission in Nigeria.
While commending the school management for reinstating activities of the SU and its non-interference in the election, he said, “This is one of the most successful election in the history of OAU. Apart from the mass participation, the peaceful conduct of the election is highly worthy of emulation. If Nigerian politicians and electoral commission can emulate us, we will not be having electoral challenges as witnessed today.
“Also, we enjoyed total independence from the school management and external influences. This boosted our confidence and ensured our delivery.”
During an interview at the sideline of a leadership retreat organised for the new students union leaders, the OAU’s Acting Dean of Division of Student Affairs, Prof. Grace Akinola, also commended the female undergraduate who contested for the clerkship position.
She challenged the newly elected leaders to bring out the best in other students and ensure peace on campus.
Other leaders of the electoral commission are Akande Paul who is the Secretary; Public Relations Officer, Durodola Lukmon; Financial Secretary, Sodiq Rauf; Welfare Officer, Aina Oluwasanmi.
Also, Bolutife Olusola is the electoral petition chairman; financial secretary, Faleye Kolawole; PRO, Moses Abundance; and welfare officer, Akoledowo Eniola.
It would be recalled the activities of the OAU SU was reinstated on October 27, 2016 by the authorities of the university in a letter referenced Ro.2/Vol. VI/217.