By: Emmanuel Utibe
On Saturday 14th of October 2023, the University of Ibadan Students representative council held a legislative seminar for all her members and members of other legislative houses in the University of Ibadan.
The seminar which was tagged “The Competent Legislator: Constitution, Customs and Common Sense”, took place on Saturday at the SRC chambers.
It had in attendance dignitaries such as Rt Hon Arogunade(Speaker 5th assembly ), Rt Hon Omitoyin (Speaker 8th assembly), Rt Hon Eniola (Speaker of the 9th assembly) and Hon Adewole Adeyinka (Past Union president).
Rt Hon Arogunade while speaking on the topic of the Workshop, “The Competent Legislator: Constitution, Customs and Common sense”, noted to the legislators present that as a house they must strive to be more than a budget slashing house.
He then proceeded to speak extensively on the nitty gritty of what it entails to be in the legislative. He spoke on the politicking which goes on in the house, Bills proposal and passage, the need for lobbying, relationship with the executives and how to provide proper oversight on their activities.
Rt. Hon Arogundade also spoke on making sure that the house committees are effective as he said they are very important for the progress of a house.
Next was Rt Hon. Omitoyin, who spoke on the topic, using several examples from personal experiences, and buttressing the points which had already been made by Rt Hon Arogunade.
He particularly emphasized the importance of a legislator always being guided by the book. He spoke on the need for discipline among legislators and also emphasis the need for legislators to have as their second nature, the through knowledge of the constitution and the standing order. “If as a legislator, you are having to at many times resort to using your initiative then something is wrong,” Rt Hon. Omitoyin said.
“By the way some of us miss it by putting common sense first before the customs and even the constitution. It should not be so, the constitution comes first then customs and then before common sense”.
Also, Rt Hon. Eniola used stories from her personal experiences to emphasize the importance of what had been said by the previous speakers.
The former UISU President, Hon. Adeyinka who spoke last also dwelt more on using story to still emphasize the various points which had been highlighted.
He spoke on both his experiences while he was in the house and drew some lessons also from his experience as the Union’s President. Finally, Hon. Adeyinka urged Legislators to always embody the mindset that they are student leaders too and get themselves actively involved when needs be.
Speaking at the end, the 10th assembly speaker, Rt Hon. Olamide, thanked the dignitaries for honouring their invite and showing up for the event.
The event despite ending off as a success witnessed a low turnout. Some SRC members did not show up. Also, of the various speakers across faculties and halls that were sent invites, only one was present.