The management of the Faculty of Education, Obafemi Awolowo University has suspended the students' association of the faculty; Nigerian Universities Education Students' Association(NUESA) following the insistence of the Electoral Committee on conducting the association's election after the faculty management had told the Committee to suspend the election for the mean time until all issues rocking NUESA are sorted.
Below is the reaction of the NUESA president, Obisesan Ayodeji Philips to the allegations leveled against his leadership.
THE SUSPENSION OF NUESA: MR PRESIDENT’S REACTION
“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.” -Martin Luther king Jr
The whole episode that unfolded at the last parliamentary sitting of our dear association, Nigerian Universities Education Students’ Association (NUESA) held on 23rd March, 2015, and the resultant effect of the suspension of the body has generated several criticisms, castigation, arguments, vociferation, etc, from NUESITES towards me, the President of the association. But I belief that some responses might not have been elicited if the people understand the reason behind my reaction at the meeting. However, before I proceed with my elucidation, I must first apologize to all NUESITES for walking out on them at the gathering. “I am very sorry”. But as earlier said, this is not without reason.
Without being periphrastic, I must say that the last report presented by the audit committee is invalid. Several figures being recorded are not correct and this I believe is deliberate on the part of the audit committee as it is aimed at “something”. These inaccuracies affect the reports on the office of the President, the vice president, the welfare director, the director of sports and the director of socials.
Let me note at this point that from the beginning of this administration, the proposed expenditure was more than the proposed revenue. About N1,200,000 was budgeted as revenue but about N950,000 was the actual income generated. Consequently, the actual cash given for each office was not up to the official amount allocated.
The problem now is that the audit committee did their auditing based on the “theoretical” income rather than the “practical” one. For the presidency, N56,620 (the off budget agreed) but N47,000 was reported, N21,500 (actual amount) instead of N12,500 reported on trip to Abuja by two executives for three days. Also, there was a false accusation from a member of the committee that I collected a sum N10,000 from an alumnus despite the fact that I gave out his phone number for verification.
In the case of the vice president, some projects were not executed due to this issue of limited fund. The amount approved for her was therefore higher than the actual money given to her. But she was also audited based on the approved amount. Now, she is asked to refund the money she didn’t receive. This same situation goes for the welfare office. He received N120,000 but N133,010 was audited, the director of socials collected N56,200 but N57,200 was audited, the director of sports received N12,000 for NUESA week but audited based on N15,510.
It is apposite to point out here that these were not the case when the audit exercise was conducted. We were audited based on the amount collected. I was therefore dazed when I saw the opposite in the report. Meanwhile, Mr Speaker’s audit report was not like that. He was audited based on the N3,000 he collected not the N64,000 approved for his office. I saw all these as a form of defamation and aspersion on the executive council. Seeing this, I raised an objection, but Mr Speaker would not grant my request. And so I walked out. Please note, I admit that this was not supposed to be my response and once again I tender my sincere apology for the action.
Furthermore, the diversity of opinion between the executive council and the Education Students Representative Council (ESRC) on the use of the recent income that NUESA generated (N550,000) just immediately after the NUESA week must also be mentioned here. While the executive council proposed that the fund be used for some capital projects, the ESRC wanted it reserved for the succeeding administration. This, I reported to one of our staff advisers and the faculty management. They gave the executive council the approval to proceed with their proposed projects which include laying of tiles in the secretariat and the faculty library and many more.
The faculty management, having seen the disparity in the leadership of NUESA, decided to suspend her election slated for 26th March, 2015. But the insistence of the electoral committee on the conduct of the election led to the eventual dismissal of the association by the faculty management.
Greatest NUESITES, articulate NUESITES, I have written this to clear up every form of negative impressions that have been created about the executive council with all forms of propaganda from various quarters. And I believe I have been able to do so.
Obisesan Ayodeji Philips
NUESA President 2013/2014