AS JOHN CELEBRATES BIRTHDAY; SUG 2018 AND THE MEMORIES WORTHY OF REFLECTION.
Dear John, NAPSS class of 2018 latter class Rep, it’s your birthday and an opportunity offered by life to reflect on the past and to push ahead.
Nobody knew how your popular alias ‘AHEAD AHEAD ‘ that made you so popular came by.
It was one beautiful Friday morning. We all converged at the LT waiting for our female lecturer when we got information that the lecture is no longer holding. Then we strolled down to your house.
On getting home and after few minutes, two powerful comrades, one now in GYB’s government called requesting to know your whereabout. You described and they located us and told us boldly that SUG election for 2018 will be holding soon as declared by the school management and that you should declare your interest and strategically organise your campaign. You mentioned my name in style “AMOSY, this struggle na AHEAD AHEAD ooo” and I re-echoed same in style. We hopped on a bike to break the news to some comrades with the continued AHEAD AHEAD chant.
This was the beginning of a name that later branded and ushered you into fame on campus then and even up till now.
We rounded all corners of KSU, imprinted your name at the hostels. A mention of ahead is as constant as the air. We did our best and never tried compromising because we believed in the strength and decisions of the students.
Recall that when my life got on the line, I fled to Lokoja when election was still ongoing. When news broke to me in Lokoja of how we lost our bid for SUG PRESIDENCY, I sobbed and a tear dropped off my eyes not because you lost but because despite the machinations of the school management and some top government functionaries taking sides and even supported a candidate with a huge amount of money, we held on to our belief on the students. Losing by only 10 votes margin to government/management candidate to me is not a loss. Come to think of it, 100 slots were made for Medicine faculty where only 50 delegates were eligible to vote. From there, it all dawns to reality that a game is up. After 50 slots were given to medicine delegates, the rest 50 slots were sold for N2000 each to ineligible voters to compromise the voting process. Despite this schemings, only 10 votes loss was to me not a loss. Myself and you with some other strong men at the background stood our ground uncompromisingly.
Worthy to note is that 2 days to election, in the wee of 10th July, 2018, a strong Comrade asked to see me and wooed me with enticing amount of money to betray you, I have never told you this, I simply replied “In this election, where John dies, I die. It will be too cheap of me to betray John for money. I don’t betray friendship on the platter of material things”. And he reiterated further on how plans have been made and concluded at Monitech hotel a night prior to our discussion on who becomes the next SUG President and how it has also been stamped. Everything he told me that morning manifested, and like a true prophet, none of the truth he revealed to me that never materialized. We however must understand that politics according to Harold Lasswell is “who gets what, when and how”. By implication of the fore definition, everything that happened was all politics.
In the process, we made foes, we made friends. In the morning of the election, a certain power tried all efforts to prevail on all course reps under my watch as the President to ensure they vote otherwise. When contacted, I told them simply, it’s a secret ballot. Let no one threaten you with anything. Decide for yourselves but decide well.
Because of you, I flexed muscle with some higher powers. Reason being that, as the departmental President, if you could win SUG President, I would know that my department during my tenure as President produced SUG President and we stand to gain alot. I didn’t push for you because of anything personal but for my love for NAPSS to wear a crown of success at the point.
I was fought, threatened and detained at the security yard on the day of the election and I knew the politics behind it all but they were to me sacrifices necessary for friendship. I’m still bouncing.
In the campaign Sienna where you and I pulled up through the open outlet to wave hands and speak to people, a staff I respected so much sighted me and called me later that that evening, that before I could be fronting myself with you to that level without fear, that I must have signed pact with men on the streets. Laughable though.
At some points and in the middle of the night, we are at medicine and Agric still to meet and tie agreements.
Betrayal stared us in the eyes, those who were for us yesterday were threatened with everything possible to change support. That notwithstanding, till tomorrow we stand and your name is proudly in KSU campus as one of the comrade that shook every nooks and corners.
At some point, I couldn’t sleep at home anymore. I remember coming back from meeting on your behalf around 11PM one night when Police pursued us through the bush in that dark night.
We made foes, we made friends. We stepped on some toes mistakenly which will apologized to, we also stepped on bigger toes who values and promotes dishonesty. All in all, it was politics and nothing else, it was a learning ground where we practicalised what we were thought as Political Science Students. We made the fun of it and we have the memories till tomorrow.
You didn’t win election to become SUG President but you were even more progressive than those that thwarted the ambition. We all friends again today. We are one and the dark side of politics was never enough to chain us down.
After we lost out at the polls, came the issue of Senate Presidency and the betrayal and politics of how I was stripped of my power to select the senator who would represent our department at the parliament but I made all efforts within my rank to ensure that I connived with all departmental Presidents to ensure the person didn’t win Senate Presidency which truly never materialized for the candidate. The power play, gambles and risk then were sincerely worthy to talk about and truly laughable.
To the glory of God, we hold no grudges against ourselves. This is just a recount and nothing more. NAPSS CLASS of 2018 is golden.
At some point, we ran out of food and monies. The old seller at the back of big man paparazzi became our customer, we eat N200 without meat, that’s anyday you had N200 or I did. On a particular day, we ran out of option and had to even share a N100 akpu together after ensuring that no one was watching. Regardless, men were made. The course for the future was charted from there and the handwriting of the journey ahead has been written on the wall.
Raise up your head high John, bigger offers are around the corner awaiting you.
Johnee, there are so many things to write about you but these few moments and memories are really golden to make mention of.
Grow bigger John, prosper in good health and always get ready for the challenges ahead will be mightier compared to what we had in the past.
You’re a strong, bold, courageous and fearless young man who can dare at the risk of anything and at anytime.
Happy birthday Enekele meji, oma Igala jali, egbiti oma Abah.