In a bid for students to know more about their leader, Press Council had a Live Interview with the NAPES President.
Comrade Ajadi Sodiq aka ASO
PC: can you introduce yourself sir?
NP: My name is Com. Ajadi Sodiq Odunayo, a student of Mechanical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Hnd 2 and also the President of National Association of Polytechnic Engineering Students’. The Polytechnic, Ibadan. (NAPES) 2019/2020 academic session.
PC: as a Faculty President, one of your responsibilities is to ensure the welfare of the student. Please, what can you tell us about students welfarism?
NP: When we talk about students welfarism, it comes in two ways. Some people believe in physical aspect like give them money and cater for their financial needs and on the other hand, welfarism generally is the primary objective of the student which is “EDUCATION” it is about how i respond to problems they are facing on campus, symbiotic relationship of lecturers in class and having conducive environment for learning. In different areas, I have tried my possible best as the President to make sure that my students are getting comfort as regard conducive and accommodating learning environment, even when some departments in my faculty was having such issue, i tabled it with the school management and the issue was sorted.
More so, with my Office, I have been able to work towards facilitating another 250 capacity class for the students in my faculty which the project is under progress and very soon it would be of use.
PC: What can you say about Nigeria’s present situation?
NP: That is a very good question which I will use myself as a case of study. When I was aspiring for the post of President, I have a lot of things I promised to do if I emerge as a president but when I came on board I noticed that there are a lot factor affecting individual agenda which need to be re-adjusted. So, as an administrator, you will also have a legislative document that guides your activities and may sometimes not suit your agenda, so if governance is base on two unequal view, it always lead to unproductive political atmosphere.
PC: As a faculty President, much and more will be expected from you. So how have you been balancing politics, administration and governance?
NP: To balanced the three concepts is quite difficult, because I am dealing with a faculty that operates with Constitution, culture and tradition. There are some things constitution don’t back but culture and tradition backs and also things culture and tradition dont back but Constitution backs. The most relevant thing I do is that, I put God first.
PC:How do you defend a duties that seems unconstitutional to the faculty management?
NP: That is why I said there is contitution, culture and tradition, most of the issues that lead to crisis most time is due to not carrying people along in the course of administration, even when you do the right thing if people were not informed they would turn against you. So sometimes, where constitution fails, culture prevail.
PC: Over many administration in the past, when you hear “South or Southerners” there is an image that is imprinted in one’s mind but lo and behold, there in the course of your administration, the perception is different. How do you do that?
NP:This is the second time am hearing this question, but I believe there is nothing like magic. I am also a victim of assault despite being a southerners. But when I came on board, I discussed with official in charge of security issue and also I created a group which I called Presidential forum that consist of all Departmental President in my faculty then we dialogue on how to solve the issue of insecurity around us.
Moreso, I also created another group forum that consist of all Faculty Presidents in the institution in order to create a friendly environment so when student sees the cordial coexistence among the faculty President, they would write off any kinds of violence among themselves and also create a friendly environment within the institution.
PC: What are your challenges so far aside financial aspect and the pandemic out break?
NP: You have already mention the major challenges I encountered which is covid19 and money, another thing I call a challenge is how to make people see things the way you see it. Because, before you as a leader came on board, they are used to a system and as a new leader comes up with something different, it would be quite difficult for them to adapt to the agenda you put on board.
PC: Academically, the National Association of Engineering Students’ are doing well, talking about the JCI Inter Faculty Speech Contest, the NAPES Debate and their performances was incredibly amazing. What is the secret behind all these?
NP: When I emerged as the Faculty President, I came up with three agenda which are: their primary assignment, empowerment and roles of leadership. As regards the Debate and the Inter Faculty Speech, I worked on organising tutorial which is difficult for only me to handle. So I consulted the five faculty Presidents and we planned on how to execute it. Actually all department at the contest did very well but the two participants from my faculty were Electrical and Civil Engineering students who emerged as winner.
PC: how do you compare being an administrator an being a student?
NP: That is what I tell people that are aspiring for a political post on campus. To administrate and to be a student at the same time is difficult. It’s left for you to balance the concept. As a faculty President and a student, when I am in an administrative meeting, I give my total attention to the meeting and when I’m in class, I give my 100% attention to the class. Another thing I found helpfull to myself is after my daily activities I check back what I have done for the day, in both academic and administrative activities and if I see any where I go wrong, I’ll make my correction and at the same time balance it.
PC: Sir, how do you correlate student, career and lecturers?
NP: Education of these days is now depreciation because most of the students of these days are not doing their courses for the career anymore but the certificate, even the practical course too. Before you see students that will boldly say, “I want to pursue my career after my study”, I don’t even think is up to 10%. Everybody is just interested in hustling and make the money anyway, so only few is working more on the career and experience. On the other hand, lecturer of these days are kind of reluctant towards discharging their primary duties, so the love for money has override the passion of both the students and lecturers of today.
PC: The tenure has already come to an end now, so what are you looking forward to as regard the next administration?
NP: That is one of my greatest fear now, because it’s very difficult to build a road but in a blink of eyes you can destroy it, so I’ll just pray to God and hope for the best as regards the next administration. If there is anything my administration is not doing right, they should put it in right place and to what my administration has rightly put in place, it should continue.
In conclusion, Ialso appreciate you for having me here and in addition to my administration, we have conducted an election yesterday which was the first of it kind, electronic voting
PC: Thank you so much for your time and we are glad to have you here at Press Council.