After a rather unjustified long break, I’ve chosen once again to ventilate some few happenings around us. It won’t be wrong for some good folks to suggest that attaining the height of leadership in recent past had constricted my hands from penning pressing issues which needed much concerns.
Never mind, even the late Kwadwo Asare Baffour Acheampong (KABA) of Multimedia fame once asked H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo at a recent press encounter with the President whether the Presidency had tamed him, because he’s known to be a “hard guy” who would’ve easily dealt with the numerous allegations of corruption levelled against his young government – satisfactorily.
The truth is: being a leader, inasmuch as you try to better the lives of students on campus within your capacity, you’ll definitely end up halting the “rebel leader” kind of lifestyle you adopted when aspiring for a position – you virtually became a freedom fighter as the Mexican rebel leader Pancho Villa who the USA once hunted in the year 1917.
Let me hasten to greet H.E David Dannah, Commander in Chief of the people’s Republic of KNUST. Sir, “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown”. Your efforts are conspicuous and we’re much appreciative of it all. I believe you would’ve done much more but for some few encumbrances here and there. My only counsel is that in the few months to the end of your tenure of office, you must as a matter of importance, trigger the disciplinary code of conducts on my colleagues who would want to go on rampage to soil your hard earned reputation.
Now, not to digress from the main purpose of this piece, which is actually about how I find; see and conclude on the fact that those popping up and showing interest to aspire for various positions here on campus have got very low political commitment. Yeah, you read rightly. Very low standards!
Fortunately for me, I’ve had the chance to speak to a couple of them on their own request. The very loud missing element judging from these encounters got to do with the lack of the spirit of “Aluta Continua” or for lack of a better word, radicalism. Nay! I’m ain’t asking them to start mobilizing students to demonstrate against reasons for which hall administrations or whoever it was that placed an embargo on the utilization of the hall Lift Systems. Neither am I instigating any student leader wannabe to start writing slanderously against school authorities in the name of popularity.
Mind you, the Dean of Students (DOS) is in full gear of approving the rustication of deviants amongst the student populace. But the point is, if you’re really sure about your intentions and plans to aspire for a position, let’s see and have a gist of what and who you really are. Well, it maybe be politically suicidal to rush into disclosing your blueprints now. But it’s very obvious that this crop of incoming aspirants aren’t showing us the usual positive signs, vim and vigor with which our “forefathers” approached the seat of leadership! The days of Boakye Nyamekye Isaac (BNI) and Lenin Anane Adjei, are much missed! Oh mine, the heat and political intellectualism had started by now.
My checks have revealed that a handful of these brothers and sisters of ours have adopted the Late President Mills’ introduced campaign strategy in the Ghanaian political fabric – the room to room campaign, already. As for the visitation deɛ; ɛyɛ necessary. But Charlie, you guys shouldn’t go there just for the sake of political expediency. Kindly do what will add value to the lives of these young once. Do the needful within your limits; help them out academically; admonish them to be serious and law abiding on campus taking cognizance of how rules work here; introduce them into our religious groupings; acquaint them with some capacity building opportunities here such as the TekTalk KNUST, et al.
We need to be dynamic in all of these. Don’t just visit the Africa Hall today because tomorrow you want to be SRC president. Never trek the Republic Hall simply because, “I’ve an agenda”. Appeal to their conscience, purposefully.
Fast forward, allow me to point out that I’m no novice in the game of KNUST politics. Arguably, lots of my contemporaries may see me to be otherwise; childish. But my only defense in evidence is my unbridled application of Law 36 of Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power – Disdain Things You Cannot Have: Ignoring Them Is The Best Revenge. I lost heavily, my first ever indulged elections. That was Sammy Forson for Conti Hall President. Presumably, my candidate for that very election wasn’t sellable yet I gave him my support for reasons I recently discovered to be that I was grossly naïve of the dynamics of KNUST elections.
The 2015 BNI, Lenin SRC elections saw me involving at my hall level and at my department. The intellectual capacity of BNI stole my mind and as a fanatic of intellectualism I had no choice to campaign for a Hall mate who wants to rule KNUST. Believe you me, for the time being, I’ve never seen a heated and heavily contested elections as this one. Eventually, BNI became the SRC President and added his quota to the development of the SRC and the school.
Then came the Ghana University Debate Champions also battle fiercely for the presidency of the SRC. Joseph Mireku Nti (Tintin) and Samuel Amoaku Kusi (SAK). This was also another heated and close elections. Unfortunately for my team, the verdict of the good people of KNUST was subverted and it all turned out to be a rigged election. Not even the courts of the land could rescue the situation and SAK was allowed to serve in the year 2016.
The level of exuberance and focus I gave to this election beats my own imagination till now. Sometimes loyalty is all that matters. I prayed, and I prayed. I remain committed and the winning followed at all levels subsequently.
Additionally, the landmark elections I’ve been achingly involved in was the recent SRC and my own faculty elections. As fate would have it, David Dannah emerged victorious as the SRC president. The bar was somewhat high because, the then candidate, Dannah was conspicuously seen as the best amongst his contenders, rendering the election easily won – on the face of it. One unfortunate thing that happened was the fact that the standards and the quality of the candidature of some persons in the 2017 elections were very shambolic and the least said about that the better.
While running the David Dannah election, I was “ambushed” on a fateful Wednesday, March 1, 2017; by some student political actors in my class. I had terminated a dream to contest for any position in my faculty for reasons best known to me. As a student activist, pressure came mounting on me to aspire higher after been the Co-Chair of the Judicial Committee of the Building Technology Student Society (BTSS). I never did until that very Wednesday afternoon. Then Candidate Michael Elorm wanted me to Vice him for the presidency of The Faculty of Built Environment Student Society (FABESS). So my own course mates plotted this move and eventually I fell for the terms and conditions for which I was supposed to Vice candidate Elorm. In the said meeting with Elorm and his very good friend; together with my comrades, I declined the idea because I vowed not to do active student politics in my final year.
It seemed very lucrative and appealing thus I joined the campaign train against the wish and interests of a couple of friends. Man wasn’t hot! I joke not with my academics and here I was deciding to do the unthinkable? Simultaneously campaigning for my very own David Dannah and my candidate; Elorm. The rest is history as I today, with stoic; fortitude and grace, double as the Vice President of FABESS and the SRC TeKTalk Coordinator. Once again, sometimes loyalty is all that matters.
In Lieu of all the above precedents, I just want to send this simple message across. That again, I’ve seen almost every trait, genotype and/or phenotype of every student leader aspirant. But the bitter truth herein is that the collective approach to political commitment in juxtaposition to previous regimes is very low and regressing at a geometrical sequence.
Unless this trend changes ASAP, a rather unenthusiastic and a highly apathetic election is bound to happen come next year. Today, most regimes of student leaders are facing variant levels of difficulties in addressing real concerns of students, despite their undoubted competence and creditable ability to do so. How much more you, the incoming aspirant?
To be a bit economical with the truth on the subject matter, I dare add that surveys show that the future is bleak for student leadership! Howbeit, a turnaround is possible if the right steps are being taken. Don’t worry, I’m no doom monger. Sometimes we need to say no-no to sycophancy and bootlicking. After all, who cares about what is bound to happen? But then again, posterity will never forgive some of us if we don’t spew the truth!
Consequently, I would like to humbly appeal to the incumbent SRC Electoral Commissioner, Hon. Quaye Ebuzu; if the need be, do initiate a move to raise the CWA requirement for the incoming aspirants. I know the previous criteria favored a lot of people who are not fit for the job. That been done, ensure that your outfit carefully scrutinize all documentations about candidates, as well as screen them painstakingly to avert the occurrence of a rerun of some elections as it did happen not long ago in some places. I’m a staunch believer that a good CWA among others, translate into a better leadership tenure. Mention can be made of my very own College President, Hon. Caleb Debrah (Carl Derby) – president of the College of Arts and Built Environment Student Association (CABESA) and others who I know are performing splendidly on their mandate. Their hard earned and enviable academic records amount to due diligence and good leadership. This is what KNUST student should seek for!
Thank you and May God bless KNUST.
May we end 2017 with God’s forgiveness and blessings!
Credit: Kumi Mark Nelson, final year student of KNUST