By: Ajadi Sodiq
Making empty promises is well known to be an ingrained trait of politicians, at all levels from the top to the grassroot. Cases of Political goons like Auxiliary being left high and dry by their political masters with no fulfillment of the various agreements made with them in order to initially secure their services serves as glaring examples of this endemic issue. And quite unfortunately, even this troubling trend found its way into the realm of student politics.
Within the academic community, student politics holds a contagious allure and intrigue, particularly for freshmen who have yet to establish their presence on campus.
Many newcomers, being greenhorns to student politics, show a yearning for a taste of power, all with the dream of ascending to high positions such as Students Union President, Hall Chairman and various other executive roles. But it is disconcerting to witness how the pursuit of something as modest as securing a box room for some, did compel some of these individuals to unwittingly compromise their principles.
Things They Put in Jeopardy
On campus, a popular adage often echoes among students, especially among the then political freshmen, “You can be an errand boy and still graduate with first-class”, it was said. Some of the then political freshmen vehemently had a belief in this saying all until it took a rather unfortunate turn for them.
While in general, being a “political goon” is a demanding endeavor, serving as a “political mentee” on campus is surely less strenuous. Furthermore the role is one that brings personal benefits such as receiving coaching on how to win university elections from a faculty president, learning the ropes to become the future Administrator General, gaining insights into crafting engaging social media posts and self-proclaiming the coveted title of an influencer. Even still, there were tales told of the good prospect of securing accommodations for the next academic session, all in exchange for loyalty and support.
But like I earlier said, it did eventually take a not so desirable turn for some of them in the end. However, it is not like they lack academic prowess, rather as mentioned in a previous article by this writer, they did jeopardize their precious study hours in support of their preferred candidates. To the extent that during election season, they could be spotted at Awo, Idia, and Queens halls late into the night, campaigning with their political “mentors”, driven by their desire to establish a presence for themselves in the local political scene.
When The Going Gets Tough, Expectations Crumble
Nowadays, beyond even the mighty walls of the Great Independence Hall, and also amongst the residents of other neighboring halls, witness can be borne to the woes of some of these upcoming aspiring politicians, who now found themselves questioning the rewards of their dedication. Some of them, who dedicated substantial time to campaign for their favored candidates and even risked their reputations for the cause, are seen disillusioned even as the election dust has long settled. The poignant question many of these newcomers post on their social media statuses looms large, “Is this all I have to show for my efforts”? Sadly, the answer echoes back as a resounding ‘yes.’
Post-election, it has now become evident that many of the promises made to them failed to materialize when the process of securing accommodations commences. Regrettably, even their preferred candidates are compelled to conform to the directives of university management, as they themselves are beholden to higher authorities.
In conclusion, the issue of empty pre-election promises continues to afflict not only the broader political arena but also the microcosm of student politics. Those political freshmen, driven by ambition and the allure of benefits, find themselves grappling with the reality of unfulfilled expectations. This phenomenon serves as a stark reminder of the pervasive nature of empty promises within the political landscape, regardless of what level of politics you are at.