The SU elections are approaching and campaigns have begun. This week, Indy Press correspondent, Abdul Habeeb, spoke with Mr. Adewole Yinka, one of the aspirants for the presidential position. Enjoy!
Good morning. Can we meet you?
I’m Adewole Yinka, popularly called Mascot, a 400 level student of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, and a resident of Kenneth Mellanby Hall… currently resigned as the Chairman, Disciplinary Committee of the Student Union Eighth Assembly. I also belong to various organizations in the University of Ibadan. I’m currently the Chairman, 70 years anniversary of Sigma Club and the Chief Whip of Quantum Leap Student Assembly, the first parliamentarian organization in Nigeria, University of Ibadan Chapter. I’m an AIESECER. I’m also a Rotaractor. I’m also the Assistant National Committee Coordinator on One health for International Veterinary Students Association, Nigeria Chapter.
So, you seem to have quite a lot of leadership experience, can we ask you why you are going for the Student Union presidency?
Fine. Thank you for that question. Many people have actually been asking that particular question. The fact that I actually stepped back from unionism two three years ago, is the fact that people actually ascribe unionism to politics. And I do say the only ideology and development we can have ourselves as youths is promoting ourselves through the process of unionism. Though, I actually key into this current administration of the Integration Team. What I mean by that is that I actually supported them in all ramifications. Both morally, by offering advice and physical presence. The fact that I was able to do that even on campus and outside campus shows my relevance in that administration. And with my experience, if I’m able to do that or the president deemed it fit to actually identify me that this is a problem-solver. I think, how much more if I take that step forward to aspire for that particular position. What I’m trying to say is that I’m always who I am, I understand the key to unionism is diplomacy and I know how to lobby very well. Those are my two strengths. So, the fact that I’m in the Eighth Assembly and I worked closely with the principal officers, irrespective of age or experience, shows I’m a better team player. Secondly, for me to have done much for them by advising them, supporting them in all ramifications, even when the other other executive members are not present, I think if I assume that particular post I will be able to do more.
So, you’re saying the reason you’re going for the Student Union presidency right now, is because the president has entrusted you with certain matters. And you believe that if he could have trusted you with these things, you can actually do more. But Mr. Mascot, the question is…
Sorry, that is one. The second is that I have the capacity and capability to actually act as president.
Why do you think so?
So, if I limit myself to that particular position because… I have the interests of the students. If you have some power, you can’t actually use that particular power until you attain a certain position. If you have a proper connection, you can actually offer them that proper connection but it might not be used to your satisfaction when you’re in that particular position to act. And the fact that the union is growing and I have the experience, I know the right path and I know the right way to also take to make it more better. So why can’t I step in?
Mr. Adewole, you’ve mentioned two things now: One, the current president, the Akeju administration, trusted you enough such that you are able to give them advice and provide inputs on certain matters of the administration. Second thing is that you feel that you are actually quite capable of handling student unionism and all of that. You know, these are things we have heard before, especially the second part. People come and say I feel I’m capable, if I get there I will do this, I’m a very robust person, people praise themselves a lot. So, we are asking you, do you feel this is enough to make you a special candidate? People have said it before, it is nothing new to us. You don’t even have to be a UI student to know that this is something a politician is likely to have said. Do you think that makes you special, these two reasons?
One thing is the achievements in the past.
What are the achievements?
My achievements in the past are numerous. I can trace them back to 2010.
Can we have the most important ones? Give us the top ten.
Okay. I’ve actually acted in my capacity as the Electoral Committee Chairman in my former school.
What school was that?
That’s Osun State University. Imagine a school, a faculty from 100 to 500 level and you entrusted that particular position to an 100 level student. I acted in that capacity for complete three years, because I was still developing the system. Though, I had prior experience because I was offered admission to study chemistry education in Obafemi Awolowo University before I left. Then, through my involvement in other indigenous associations. So I gathered all these experience. In that capacity, I was also selected as the Chairman of the electoral committees of all campuses. That particular school has six campuses. I was the founding member to have laid the ground rules to follow during electioneering processes in all campuses. And once I give a date out, the other campuses follow that particular date. Also, I was also… I acted in capacity because there was issue between the students, the management and some other stuff. The faculty was unable to elect the president. In my 300 level, I acted as the caretaker committe chairman of the whole faculty.
What did that entail, sir?
Caretaker committee is invariably like the faculty president. There was no executive, so a Caretaker committee was selected and I was the head of that committee. I had to drop the electoral committee and bounce in back to the executive. So, invariably, I acted as the faculty president. In that capacity, we have what is called the Joint Campus Committee across all campuses like we have in the electoral arm. We have that for the executive too. In that capacity, I was able to be the chairman for all faculty presidents.
Okay. So, by “all faculty presidents”, you mean faculty presidents across all the six campuses?
Yes, all the six campuses and we had the secretary from Ikire campus. In that regard, my school doesn’t have a Student Union, but I was the representative of the whole school. The fact that I was the chairman of all campus presidents showed that I was the president. So, they gave me that power to act in that capacity.
Okay. So, you’ve mentioned quite a number of achievements… You were the electoral committee chairman for three years, caretaker committee…
I have a lot o.
What year did you serve as electoral Committee Chairman?
That was 2010/2011.
If we ask a random Osun State student what they think of the Mascot administration, what do you think the person would say? What’s the general opinion of you in Osun?
The first thing he’s going to say is he’s going to be the best man.
Okay. Moving on to issues in UI…
Maybe academically too, I have a lot of achievements. A lot.
So, can you name one or two?
I graduated from Osun State University. I’m a researcher and I have published with more than five professors and even one of the best students that graduated from the Faculty of Pharmacy, Yusuf. The paper is here and he even happens to be an international award winner. Also Professor Bosco. I also have a lot of certificates from the World Health Organization.
What did you study in Osun State University?
Animal Science. I’m an animal scientist. I seek different grants and this is one of my certificates (shows us a certificate in his phone). Currently now, I think I should be one of the leading students that has the highest number of certificates in the World Health Organization online courses. I have about fifteen or twenty certificates from WHO.
Alright. We will verify that. Coming back to UI, you said you worked closely with the Akeju administration, and you feel that if you were in that position, there is a lot more you could have done, right?
Yes, of course, in one way…
So, now, let us ask you, can you rate the Akeju administration on a scale of 1-10, knowing that you could have done better than them?
Thank you. The reason why I’m saying I could have…
No, can you rate them?
The reason being that during the lockdown, Akeju was keying into more physical projects that he actually wanted to develop students and down other stuff. But when there is no proper transition. The union has already lacked almost like three years, so there’s no channel again. And we have to create another channel through different ways: One, the people connected outside, persons who have the proper orientation in meeting people… And the fact that the management are not actually releasing the money in the way that they ought to have been releasing it, that’s another hindrance. Okay, fine. Let’s do it this way. Let’s get the alumni on board. If we get the alumni on board, let’s see what they can do. Do you have any other private partners on board that the union has been using? No. Everything has been cut off. How can we resuscitate this particular thing. So, by the time Akeju keyed into this administration most of the executives were not around. Almost.
So you’re saying one of the major problems that the administration has confronted is the inability to connect with past members of the Student Union. How do you intend to solve that problem?
Now that I have the clarity and I was part of the people who solved the problem and Akeju has been consistent with that particular thing, keying into that particular legacy shouldn’t be a problem because I’m part of the process. And I understand the core value.
But then you rated someone 9/10, which is not a perfect score. There is still this one figure. That one figure means you feel they could have done something better. What is that thing?
That is because there is unavailability of most of all these executives. If you noticed very well, the only two sets of people that are actually… People actually know in this current administration… let me ask you…
No, name them, please.
That is Akeju and Oluwakay, the Assistant General Secretary. Do you know the General Secretary?
Do you actually see him like you see Oluwakay in any programme, except during this Union Week? When I was robbed, it was during the first semester exam… it’s not the office of the president that ought to have been attending to that particular case. Well, I’m part of the Technical Committee in Student Union. I’m also part of the Transportation Committee in Student Union. So many times I have to go to that particular place to go and settle issues between students and the tricycle drivers, between students and the cab drivers.
You talked about executives…
That is what I’m saying. So, if I decided to leave the executives because they are executives, I will have to go because I’m a member of the Transportation Committee with Akeju, and Akeju will have to be doing a whole lot of stuff. That is not the work of Akeju. It is channeled to another office.
That is the House Secretary’s office. House Secretary actually has three key posts; he’s in charge of social, financial, and he’s in charge of welfare. So the fact that the president is actually keying into that particular office is going to affect other things. When you have cases of robbery and some other stuff, the president would be there, where are the other executives? So, instead of the executives to actually work as a team, a single person is actually putting that particular burden on his own.
Now, there is a possibility that you yourself might face this problem. We are looking at the Akeju administration and we are seeing different people who have come from different places to campaign who all entered different offices, probably without even knowing each other. You are going to have this problem too, that is certain. We have different candidates in this election, coming up with different agenda, how do you intend to deal with this problem, knowing that you do not know every one of the candidates or even who is going to win those offices.
Thank you for that question. The fact that I’ve already served as president in different administrations… I’ve served as president of Rotaract, I’ve been this, I’ve been that. Even, during my service year I was a poineer coordinator of NEMA, Nigerian Emergency Management Agency. In my local government, I served as the CLO. In a Muslim and Hausa community, a Yoruba boy is actually leading them. You know it’s so hard. But I was able to give them, I laid down the rule and my name was actually put in a book of life in a secondary school, which is not easy. So, my own is that I make proper consultation and I do unification of resolutions. What do I mean? I have my own agenda as the student union president. Don’t forget that my agenda as the Student Union president cuts across all offices. And the fact that it cuts across all offices makes me to key into the development of that office. First thing I’m going to do is to harmonise all these agendas together.
We harmonise it and this is going to be our resolution. We give it out that this is our resolution as the student union executives. Any other including agenda or manifesto can also be sent to the appropriate office. By the time we harmonise these agendas, we are going to see that we are fighting for a common aim.
Okay, so let us bring it back to what we said about the Akeju administration earlier. With this solution that you are suggesting, that means one thing Akeju probably did not do was unify the agenda of all the different offices. Is that correct, sir?
Because the excos are not showing up. So, if the excos are not showing up and connecting that back to what you just stated, it means that they feel like their plans have been excluded from the general stance of the student union. Is that your position?
Well, I don’t actually feel that but my own feeling is that…
But you just stated that.
Yes, I’m just trying to tell you that that might be an issue. I supported Hessy.
Alright. No problem.
And for Akeju to have given me this particular platform, it means that he buys into my ideology and he feels I have content to deliver.
We understand that but we are still asking this particular question…
Yes, most UI students actually see this executive as an opportunist. Except for the post of president and except for the post of the Assistant General Secretary and the post of House Secretary. And if you are able to see, the post of president is the post that students actually rooted for in the last administration. The PRO is unopposed, the General Secretary is unopposed, Vice President is unopposed and in fact, invariably we did not even have Sports Secretary. So, the only set of people that we have that were opposed is the Assistant General Secretary. I feel that is why the Assistant General Secretary is able to key in. Because two of them are from the same hall.
So, now, you’re stating another problem, saying that because certain offices were unopposed in the last election, they are unwilling to function.
So, people are just like these executives are just opportunists.
We are looking at new people emerging to contest for different offices, what if these offices end up being unopposed too and you end up having people who did not have to contest in the actual sense before entering office. How do you hope to deal with them?
During the last administration, the first thing the school management did was to organize a leadership workshop. And that particular workshop, most of the people who actually needed it were not present. It is from there you will be able to know that, when you are in any administration, irrespective of the position you are holding, you should be at selfless service or actually in support of anything.
But the funny thing is that the school organized this same leadership workshop for this current set of executives…
I was there, too. But most, if you check the attendance, were not actually present. We have 108 honourables and we have 7 executives. We also have faculty presidents and some other leaders across halls and some other stuff. But you are going to see that these people are not there. And also, many people think there is money in this particular union. Currently, all contestants have already spent a lot of money and there is no mutual benefit. People actually react to incentive when analysing government policy but there is no incentive. No hostel for free, no school fees for any student and some other stuff. Now, if I’ve spent over #400,000 naira for this campaign and I take the mantle of leadership. If I’m not a trained servant-leader, do you think my plans will not be how I’m going to get my own #400,000 I spent in my campaign? That’s going to be my first target.
Okay. So, Mr. Mascot, just to keep the whole thing short because we are actually running out time, you have stated that you invested heavily; 400k is no small money.
No, I’m just saying.
“If”. That is hypothetical. Alright.
So, why exactly are you doing this knowing that when you get there, there will likely be no rewards?
First thing is, firstly, in life…
Mr. Adewole, are you going for popularity?
If I actually wanted to go for popularity, I have it already.
Alright. So what are you going for?
If I actually wanted to go for fame, like you said, I have it already. But the fact that many people believe that you can only build yourself with Union, to connect with people and to serve your selfish interests is what makes people actually run. I think the best thing I should have considered is going for this political party. (Mr. Adewole holds up a political party form he had shown our correspondent at the beginning of the interview. He said he had been offered an appointment by the Young Progressive Party. At the time of the interview, he had not filled it. This is what he was referring to.) And also for me to have served as a Rotaract president, like, Rotaract president and I’m able to carry out different kinds of projects; giving fifteen students Post UTME form and trying to raise funds for two students, over one hundred thousand for each, I think it’s not a small job. The fact that I particularly spent that money shows that I actually wanted to learn. It’s just a learning ground for me to keep pushing.
So, the Student Union is a learning opportunity.
That’s an investment. If you want to go to a leadership school now… Okay, I’m going to build more connections over there that I might not be able to use outside. If it is because of connection or fame again, I’m a loyal Sigmite, for crying out loud. And I’m currently the 70 years anniversary Committee Chairman. Two or three weeks ago, I was sitting among the First Bank CEO, FCMB CEO, and Access Bank CEO. Because we are planning our seventy years anniversary.
Alright. We have gotten enough of a picture of who Mr. Adewole is and we appreciate your honest answers. Now, moving on to probably the most important thing in the presidency game, what are your plans. Briefly.
I keep saying that my agenda is my blueprint and other stuff. Though people have been complaining that what are your agenda, people will feel like the opponent will actually doctor it. But, in fact, the electoral commissioners are even saying that I presented a summary of my agenda that there is no physical plan. But for the sake of tradition and clarity, one of my agenda actually address, first things is, Student welfarism. And the way I’m going to address student welfarism ranges from proper accommodation, transportation and health. First thing is accommodation. During the accommodation fee issue, I recommended that students pay #20,000 naira to the management, knowing that they would either keep it at that or increase it to #25,000 naira. #25,000 was okay with the VC but when it got to the council, it was increased due to rising electricity tariffs. Akeju had originally intended to protest, and he was willing to do anything for students, irrespective of his law school. That is why I said he is a leader. The accommodation issue is the first fight that the Union fought without protest. And I think that #3000 naira that they removed was because Akeju was able to do proper consultation.
The thing is, you are not Akeju, you are Mascot. You mentioned that part of your plans is student welfarism, what is the unique thing…
In that accommodation, the fact that we already established that particular legacy will enable me to key in. I’m working on how to make accommodation more comfortable.
In what sense?
In the sense that we will partner with the halls and outsiders. A single room can actually have a ceiling fan that will cover the four spaces. In OAU, they have two fans. So you don’t need to bring your ceiling fan. That is one of it. I have another one tackling that accommodation. And in transportation, I tag it Neutralisation and Decentralisation Method. How am I going to use that one? The fact that the price of tricycles keep increasing and the price of fuel keeps increasing and the fact that the price of spare parts that they are going to use to repair it keeps increasing, University of Ibadan keeps increasing the IGR on those people. Now, the best way to actually solve that problem; if our bus is actually working, why do you have to pack the whole student union bus over there? We can decentralise and neutralise them. Let the bus start working for #30.
But then, the problems with these plans are that the first one on accommodation faces a management that complains of funds and are unable to pay NEPA bills, properly. How do you think this management would be able to repair ceiling fans and at the same time install new ones? And the second one you mentioned about buses and everything… We have two student union buses, Premier Aluta 1 and, I think, Aluta 2.
We have a cab. We have a cab too.
And then, there are thousands of students within UI, do you think that two buses can cater for them?
We have three, with one a cab, a bus. But three of them are not working now, you know, right?
Yes. But even if they were working, will they still handle…
The reason why I’m saying that is there are two roads that actually have problems: Awo and Idia. Agric and Vet Medicine, and people who are going towards Poly. So the fact that we actually wanted to carry students because most of all these can drivers say if they go to Awo, they don’t always get passengers when they are coming back. By the time Union carries… Okay, it is a right and it is a privilege. The union bus is not actually meant for the executives, if you go to OAU, that is the same way it operates. Now, if we pose a threat to them… The union bus is actually carrying its own at #30 naira, these set of people will complain to the school management. We will say that it is the only way we can reduce the burden on students, that the money is too much. How can you help us? Those set of people, they pay #25000 to the management every six months. Do you know that the transportation system in UI, in the past, has always been handled by the student union? It was when a Vice Chancellor came that they realized that the Union has a lot of power that they cut it off. So, no revenue generation for the Union except from occupants over there.
Now, another problem with plan again; transportation has moved from the hands of the Union to the management’s. If the student union tries again to step into transportation, do you think the management will allow that move to fly?
Rome was not built in a day. The reason I’m actually contesting now is because if I get to that position, I will act in my capacity in 500 level. I will be able to checkmate the other people coming in 600 level to support them again. Most people will act in 500 as president and graduate, that is one of the major problems. No people will be on ground to nurture this set of executives that are coming in. The thing is that if the management actually… We actually want to reduce burden on the students on the price. Do you know normally the price of a bus to Awo from gate is #40, do you know that?
Normally, tricycles should carry three. If you are carrying two, it’s #40 each. If you are coming from Mellanby or Gate to Tedder or to Kuti, it’s #30. And they are supposed to carry three, which is #90 naira. But later on, these set of people see it as an opportunity and collect #50 naira. And no memo or anything has been sent out. Call Mr. President, ask him to give you the transportation price list. You will still find out that on that list it’s #50 naira. They no feel like carrying a student from gate to Awo, Awo people should drop at Awo junction and go to CMF. Yet, they still say #150 naira per person, instead of #100 naira per drop.
Okay. So, let’s take this back to the beginning. You said you don’t intend to stop in 500 level and graduate but would like to nurture…
Okay, to support the following excos should you win the election. Now, basically, you’re saying your plans cannot be completely implemented in your administration.
That is why I tagged it as Neutralisation and Decentralisation. Most of the people who come from Awo don’t actually see bus except they carry passengers to that place. If we station a cab there, it will be easier now. It’s not going to carry any other person than people coming from Awo and people coming from Agric down here.
Okay, to make it more specific, it means your plans are actually targeting certain people who are disadvantaged in UI.
Okay. So moving on to the next part of the plan now, what else do you have for us?
Yeah, proper representation. So I realised people will support you when you’re coming into office but later they feel when you get there you are going to leave them alone. One of the things I actually identified when I said Student Welfarism is that the Student Union building… If you’re developing yourself there is a set of people you should be nurturing too. Because those set of people will represent your own ideology. And it will be easier to close that gap. Protest shouldn’t be for the executives or some people. If you’re going to contest, you shouldn’t be going alone. We should have a consensus on what we are going to do. I’m not the one that actually plans for people, I plan along with people and that is one of my major problems. And that is my weakness. If you don’t give me your view I won’t implement anything.
Okay. Going back to your idea on proper representation, can we infer that your idea of proper representation is a kind of sustainable administration?
So, when you likely go into that office, you will be the kind of person that ensures your policies are sustained in subsequent administrations?
Alright. Is there anything else on the agenda?
Also, ABH. You know they’ve been sidelined.
I got to ABH a few days and the only reason why few listened to me was because they said I’m a medical student from Vet Medicine. And the fact that there is this research organization across all medical schools, Pharmacy, Nursing and some other schools. We call it STURN, Student Research Network. I think I was the first Veterinary Medical student to be admitted into this club. I was in 200 when I was admitted. So, it was like some of them noticed I was in STURN. They don’t actually have interest in the Union. Now, it will be easier for me to constitute a committee in ABH that will see to the welfarism of the students in ABH. They will be in charge of the health of ABH and there is going to be total inclusiveness in the Union. They are going to have their own chairman and their own committee members over there, so if you have anything, they are going to be responsible. And they will also come to participate in all activities. Like I said too, one of my social programmes is for us to have Health Week and imagine if a medical student from ABH is in charge. We are going to have part of our health talk here and part of our health talk in ABH. And we have to transport students who are interested in having it at this particular place.
Okay, so you’re going to include the people in ABH. What’s the next one, sir?
Also, in terms of health, I noticed that most of us actually volunteer in Jaja and other organizations; library and some other stuff. Like I use to say that UI actually has Work and Study; that programme has thousands of students who apply and only few are selected. But few are chosen based on maybe closeness to the person in charge and other stuff. But it still doesn’t cost us anything. It’s a project and we want everyone to involve collectively. You know, by the time they get to Jaja, they will ask you to wait for your cards and all of that. It will be easier if we actually get students to assist the older people over there. Whether to assist with students with emergency cases…
But sir, don’t you feel that is actually complex in that Jaja has this overwhelming caseload. Having students who should be in class in that place, do you have any management plan that can tackle this such that students will always be in attendance. And then, if you are actually going with this kind of plan, we should also be looking at how students can be attended to faster and the quality of service Jaja is delivering.
That is my plan. That is why we are actually including it. We wanted to increase, already increased, because we can’t say that they are not trying in Jaja.
But people still complain…
This is the reason why we want to increase the quality by assisting them. And the fact that you have to give us your timetable on when you’re going to be free, so that we can schedule our roster. It’s going to be based on roster. You can’t expect someone in MBBS or someone in Vet Medicine to say he’s actually going to sacrifice, except he wants to sacrifice. We know that Fridays are free for Vet Medicine students, people like that can actually set in. We have Saturday, we have Sunday. And there are students from other faculties. Imagine students from Education and LARIS, LARIS 400 level students. By the time we solicit, we give them reasin why you should involve in social activities, we call it social activities…
Sir, there is this other thing. If students are going to volunteer in this thing and you mentioned that Student Union executives are not as active as they should be because they don’t have enough incentives to be there. And there is Student Work Study Scheme organized by the management. Now, if you are suggesting a certain number of students to them to enroll, do you think the management, knowing how they obviously lack the funds, will be willing to incentivise these students by paying them? When you bring these people on board, you are adding to the number they already have on ground, how do you hope to resolve that issue?
Thanks you so much. I’m a Rotaractor. And we go for humanitarian service. And my third or fourth travel was because of humanitarian service. These things become part of what you’ve done in your social life. There is this thing about what your service has been to the community. Giving students incentive is quite small. We can have a number of people who can sponsor that. The question is what is going to be your gain when you leave campus. What have you done? You might have soft skills but they will still ask, what have you done? What actually secured me that particular travel was because I told them I was a Rotaractor, back then. I had acted as the Youth Service Director, built toilets in village schools and all of that. We dug well water, we constructed so so so stuff…
Mr. Mascot, there is something else on engaging students in Jaja…
Not only in Jaja…
Okay, in different parts of the University. But then, you said you would engage sponsors…
The Union also can actually give little token…
You know, one thing you have mentioned in this interview is the sustainability of your policies over time. Now, this plan, how sustainable do you think it will be, knowing that when you leave connections you have to certain sponsors may not be available to people after you. How do you intend to make it sustainable such that after one session, it won’t be that the Mascot plan has already ended?
I’ve not even assumed that particular position that I gave information to Akeju. And the reason we have not been able to push forward is because Akeju is just so tired. The other day, we had set up a meeting with the Ooni of Ife to come and do a physical project. You know, philanthropists can be reluctant when you’re asking them to do something. It was already a done deal. But by the time we got to Ipetumodu, the bus broke down. We saw the Ooni passing by and the person who connected us kept calling us to come. We had to take a public transport but by the time we got there, it was unsuccessful. They didn’t fix the bus until about a week later, when it was brought back to Ibadan. The reason why I supported the management when they said you can contest for student union in 200, act in 300, so your 500 level is actually to checkmate your work, your financial… And also to be as a guardian to the current administration.
Again, how do you hope to make your plan sustainable?
I’m still going to be keying in as a guardian or adviser to the administration that follows me. Because I have to support them. It is not only me, it is to sustain student interest. So we have to work together to achieve a common… It is our own Union not their own… that is the reason we have ex-officio. The reason we have ex-officio… Why do you have elders? Elders are the set of people who have already served in one or two capacities. And they are still in that particular place to tender their assistance and make everything straight. So, I’m going to be in school to help them with everything.
Alright then. You have mentioned three things so far; you have mentioned making transportation easy to assist disadvantaged students in UI; engaing students in extracurricular activities to earn them money in a way…
In fact, you know Akeju did trade fair, some of our girls go to Agbowo to buy stuff, some also go to Bodija. How much more if we have a Union market every two weeks, where we’ll generate money. Maybe we sell a stand for #500 naira or #1000. And we are going to give them a specific time, if it’s going to be 12 to six.
You know, Mr. Mascot, this is a good plan, but there is still the price issue. The problem with the last trade fair was the exorbitant prices they sold things.
They will sell for the prices they sell outside. If you are getting a stand to sell for this week, we will tell you that getting the next one depends on how you treat us this week. We will have sets of people to sell different commodities like rice and beans. We will get a committee to be in charge of these things. And the committee are going to be under one office, in accordance with the constitution. If we give them a stand, it will relieve the stress of going outside to buy something. In fact, it will be easier to get things from the cafeteria people.
Alright. Moving out of plans, there is this question that has lingered on our minds. If you read the Indy Press Editorial last week, we realised that politicians vandalise school property by pasting flyers on tanks and walls. We were looking at a tank in Indy and there were about 50 or so of these flyers.
Of Mascot or everybody?
If you are going to question that, we can look immediately at the Student Union Building here. There is this traffic sign with Mascot flyers…
I was the one that actually removed it.
No, it was there yesterday evening.
No, right in front of SUB. We have about three flyers covering the entire face of that sign board…
I will go and remove it.
Now, let me ask you, when you have three flyers on one structure saying exactly the same thing, how necessary do you think that is? Do you not think that is defacing hostel and school property?
Sir, I was the first person to paste black and white ‘watch out for Mascot’ and everything. And I’m not actually the one because I was actually sick then. I came back from somewhere and I did Covid-19 test screening and I actually isolated myself for two weeks. After then, my team members were like Richard has posted stickers and I was like, do the needful. So, they did black and white. I came to school…
Indy, too. Your posters are there. A lot them.
Not that poster o, black and white. Normal black and white.
Yeah, black and white.
Yeah, let me just start from there. I came to school on Sunday evening at night. On entering into SUB where I wanted to pick something, and probably read at the NANS office before class, I saw Mascot posters as I was walking through the staircase, and I was surprised at why they would put posters there. So I started removing the posters. I was actually wearing a nose mask and my glasses. As I was removing them, some students stood up and we’re like, ‘why are you removing Mascot posters?’ Maybe because of the mask and my glasses they didn’t recognize me. I told them that they were actually defacing this place. You can go and ask from them at SUB.
So you’re blaming your team members for it?
Yes. The reason why I’m going to blame them is because they felt the other opponent is flooding everywhere, so they have to flood everywhere. And I told them. My own is, I support SDG 3 which is using paper, banners and other stuff. All these things are not easily degradable, which causes havoc to the organism community. And, invariably, is going to increase so many things at the ozone layer. So I was like, when you’re doing this, please calm down. But the fact that this guy is doing this… And you know team members…
But do you not feel that you should take responsibility?
Yes, that is why I’m saying I’m taking responsibility. In fact, I told one of them that on Friday night, anywhere we can actually remove our banner, we should remove it.
So, you have said it yourself that you ‘should’ remove it; now, quoting that particular statement, should we expect to see you reducing the quantity of material that you have…
Of course. Probably, on Friday.
Yes, this coming Friday.
You’re aware that our publication will be out by Tuesday or Wednesday?
Though people have actually seen the face, you know now. If you check around you will still find Akeju’s sticker and some other people.
Sure. But then, this is quite problematic.
So, by that Friday…
In fact, if you check around here and other places like that… If you go to Love Garden, you will see that some posters have been removed. If you go to Student Affairs, you will see that some posters have also been removed. Because I told them to remove my posters. And, even, I think the school management is already removing it.
Okay. So, the student populace will probably want to know you a bit more. Tell us something personal about yourself, something less professional. Who is Adewole Yinka? Not Mascot as a politician, just you as a person.
Adewole Yinka, I’m a situational and transformational leader.
Asides that, tell us about your family life, relationship…
Ah, my family life. My mother is from a royal family in Ikire. My father too is from a royal family.
So you’re a prince.
(laughs) Not even that. My maternal grandfather is from a royal family and my maternal grandma is from a royal family. Invariably, my mum is from a royal family. Likewise, my father too. Both in different angles from Osogbo, Olutimehin. And the other one is from Balogun. So I’m a descendant of Adekeshinro, the Warlord of Osogbo.
Alright. Okay, now that’s interesting…
Then I’m the first born of my family. We have four, a sister and three other guys. My sister graduated from law, the third one studies nuclear physics ar the University of Dutsin-Ma. And we have the last one in Pharmacy. And my father is an health professional. And I lost my mum in 2018, when I got admission into UI. No girlfriend. Okay, I’m planning to have a girlfriend in UI.
You’re planning to have a girlfriend in UI, why don’t you have one already?
Most of them keep saying I’m old, I’m not that social, that I catch cruise a lot.
Okay, we’ll be looking out for that in your manifesto.
That I’m not that serious, right? No, people think that… For example now, when I ask you to give me money and you say have money now, though you will still give me that money…
What else do you want to know? I have farms. Cattle farms… and I establish farms for people; poultry farms, cattle farms.
Okay. A question. How do you intend to resolve issues with the management such that student interests are protected at every point in time?
I will use a combination of diplomatic approaches to lobby the school management. Protest is not a first option as it goes a long way. I’m not the kind of person who likes fighting or shouting. I prefer when there is a total involvement of individuals. It is simple. We do proper consultation. Students have asked me questions on a number of issues and I answered them by saying we will do proper consultation. See the way ASUU and NASU are doing, can we actually carry casket or make Akara for the Vice Chancellor like that? But they do that in OAU. It is a gradual process, we are getting there. We can’t achieve that in a day, except we want to go back to the regime of Aderemi.
Okay, here is one question. You said it is “a gradual process”, if we can expand that a little bit, we can infer that you saying it is a gradual process means some things will not be achieved in your administration.
No, I have a contingent plan.
Will they or will they not be achieved?
No o, all my plans are feasible.
Like, will they or will they not be achieved?
No, they are going to be achieved.
During your time?
Yes. I have plans…
I have plans that is beneficial and economical, all my plans.
Mr. Mascot, here is our final question for you; you know that your signing this (the Young Progressive Party form mentioned earlier) will affect your duties as Student Union president, if you win, how confident can we be that you will be able to attend to our needs if you’re a chairman in the political party?
That is the reason why, since the past three days, I have not signed it.
Do you intend to sign it or not?
Why will I intend to sign it? That is why I said if I’m even going to join politics now, that will not be until my final year.
So, you’re not going to sign it.
I’m not going to sign it.
Very well then, Mr. Mascot. Thank you for speaking with Indy Press and we really appreciate you for your time.