The senate president of the Students’ Union, University of Ilorin, Fasasi Ahmed has said “love is the death of duty” in reaction to the recent suspension of the union’s president, Faji Tobilola
This is contained in a statement released on Sunday in an attempt to makes clarification on the allegations levelled against Mr Faji, which has sparked multiple reactions across the campus.
Full statement of the senate president is attached to this report as titled “WHEN ATTEMPTS ARE MADE TO REDUCE RULE OF LAW TO ABSTRACT CONCEPT THAN PRACTICAL POLITICAL REALITY”
At the same hour this report is published, a public notice from the legal team to Mr Faji, that a suit has been filed before the students Union court is captured.
The development also saw the announcement of the court sitting between the The president of the students’ union as Claimant And The Senate president, The Senate council and The Vice President (PS) as 1st, 2nd and 3rd Respondent respectively.
with suit no. SUC/UIL/JC/FI/007/20-23 and dated to hold on Tuesday, 25th of April, 2023, T at 4:30pm or so soon thereafter at the Faculty of Law (LR4) venue.
Read full statement below
WHEN ATTEMPTS ARE MADE TO REDUCE RULE OF LAW TO ABSTRACT CONCEPT THAN PRACTICAL POLITICAL REALITY
Let me begin by appreciating the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Wahab Egbewole, SAN, who is a seasoned and respected lawyer. A teacher who has taught hundreds of graduates in the profession, and it is permissible to say his contributions to our Republic is by no measure small. People like him who teach others that what safeguards any democracy is the “rule of law” is the reason why our society continues to thrive, and the drive for justice ahead of judgement has gotten us this far as people. Therefore, his knowledge is not only a privilege, his experience should be considered a great asset to our citadel of learning. Young generations must note that even his silence is a language we must strive to understand.
I also appreciate the leadership of our Student Affairs, the Dean and Sub-Dean of Student Affairs, other critical stakeholders and actors that remain committed and true to the cause of sustaining our modern democracy, where rules and laws are to be respected, and Constitution is not reduced to a mere abstract object, but practical reality that should guide politics and administration.
Distinguished members of the Union, yesterday has been eventful for our Union, following the suspension of the Executive President on the grounds of misconduct, misappropriation and other acts that violates the student union constitution. Permit me to say that our job as legislators differs from that of the Police Force who must arrest people for crimes, ours is to educate, correct and sanction where necessary in line with the constitution to protect our collective existence. Therefore, it was never anyone’s intention to punish the President on personal account, the facts are before us, regardless of whether people want it to be optional to them.
God told Adam not to eat an apple, warned Solomon and David, God told Noah to warn people before the great flood. You may also recall that God gave the 10 commandments to Moses which became an official framework for how people must conduct themselves. Whoever is religious and respects God must therefore have absolute regard for the rule of law, as all evidences posit that God aims to protect the world with rules and regulations. God further created hell fire and paradise to reward those who obey and disobey these arrangements.
We are not God, nor are we aiming to be, nor did we write this constitution, our predecessors did while paying committed attention to religion, moral, ethics and values which are ingredients that drive a society forward. This makes the Union Constitution our Bible and Qur’an. It is for this upholding of set principles and guides you elected us to represent you at the Senate Council. You elected us for a job, we discharged in your interest and ensure our institutions are not undermined. We at the Council are equally a supporter of the President, it is our administration and we will share in the successes and failures, but do not forget that “love is the death of duty.” Regardless of how much we love President Faji Tobiloba, we must still discharge our duty, if we fail and choose sentiments, we will only be bombing the progress we have made as people out of civilization.
The President is my friend, brother and I hope he is kind enough to listen even with the noise – that regardless of our disagreements on how to run the Student Union, we are working towards the same goal, which is the welfarism of our fellow students. Some of you here are acquainted with the concept and principle of “checks and balances” and “division of labour” but quick to dismiss the arrangement of the compendium structured along the same concept, specifically stating the roles and duties of each officials of the Union, this is not fair. We are as well your representatives and striving hard to protect your interests as Union members.
Dear Senators, and members of the Union, as we look forward to convening soon to look at measures of mutual interest, following the intervention of some critical stakeholders and as a Student of Political Science let me remind us that this is an opportunity even the Great Julius Caesar didn’t have before been stabbed by Roman Senators, despite being loved by Romans. While Julius Caesar truly loved Rome and fought only for its glory as Mr. Faji Tobiloba aims to do and we understand, he brutally ignored and exiled Rome’s long standing tradition and forgot that it is a Republic. Mr. Faji Tobiloba must remember that there is a Student Union constitution, it is not an abstract concept or item, it houses our traditions and customs of how things are supposed to work in a system and institution.
While we did better than Roman Senators by acting on actionable intelligence and reports from the Central Executive Council he leads, not at any point in time was our goal tailored towards damaging his person, if that was the sole purpose, then our very existence is defeated and the very foundation of the Senate Council has been rubbished, it was solely to protect the Student Union and the Students of this University.
Once again, Mr. Faji Tobiloba was suspended on the ground of gross violation of the constitution, misappropriation of funds, while walking out on the Senate Council is a grave offence and warrants suspension, it was never the primary objective for our decision in the Council. Mr. Faji Tobiloba has history of violating not only the constitution, but disrespecting the Council, the Student Affairs has on many occasions brokered peace and negotiations between us prior to the last decision to put an end to the continuous assault on the constitution and the parliament.
Where in the world is a President suspended for wanting to answer the call of nature? However, a President that exits the podium while a letter alleging him of misappropriation is being read, packed his belongings and walked out on the Senate Council should be honest to the Student populace, Unilorites are aware we are not their enemy, and no one should make an attempt to portray us as one. President Faji Tobiloba receives love from all and sundry, and the only way he can payback is by noting he owes Unilorites high degree of sincerity and honesty. Whichever one he can afford between integrity and honesty, the student populace will always appreciate him for it, but forgetting Union’s fund under his locker beyond the stipulated time by the constitution?
Believe me, we love Mr. Faji Tobiloba as well, on the floor of the Senate Council, I have deployed my influence on countless occasions to defend him, he is aware of this fact to the point of being alleged of enabling his act, but as said if we continue look at only our love for him, it will be the death of our duty as your Senators. It means we betrayed your trust and confidence in us and aided in reducing the Student Union Constitution to a mere abstract object.
Let me educate Mr. Faji Tobiloba and his supporters that “misappropriation” is different from “embezzlement.” Misappropriation simply means handling even a kobo that belongs to the Student Union in manners that contradicts the provisions of the constitution. No one alleged him of converting a Student Union property or resources to personal use, the question is on his handling of the money as against the original provisions of the law he swore to uphold. We are not trying to make a Socrates out of him, he is the one failing to engage the Council or exhaust available means of resolution before posturing as a victim. No one bullys their way through established laws instead of utilizing right of appeal.
Let me also speak directly to those referring to Unilorites who are showing solidarity to the suspended President as “headless mob”, I implore you to desist from making such unbecoming remarks, whether an opinion sits well with us or not, whether we like them or not, it is our job to listen no matter how difficult.
We will continue to listen to you while not compromising the provisions of the constitution we swore an oath to protect.