Thursday, 26 January 2017

DemoCrazy: The Abraham Lincoln Parody - Pope Jay

We all have our high moments; that particular point in time that just defines the rest of our lives. For Isaac Newton; it was watching that apple drop, for Franklin, it was that wet moment in the rain when the lightening flashed, Archimedes wasn’t even dressed in his moment, For Barack Obama; I think it was “The Speech That Made Obama President”. History lovers would agree that for Abraham Lincoln, it was that hot Thursday Afternoon in November 1863, yes; The Gettysburg Address! Apart from the fact that that speech went on to become one of the most famous in American history, I believe it also put Lincoln in the eternal hall of fame of democracy, a proof of this being the fact that the last words of the address are the most widely used to define the entire concept of “Democracy”. Sometimes I try to picture Lincoln giving that address; the confidence in his voice, his proud stance, the smirk on the corner of his face as he carved his words deep into time itself, if only Grandpa Abe knew that about Seven score and fourteen years after, in an academic estate somewhere in Central Africa on a cool Wednesday evening, a jester would make a mummer’s farce of the words he spoke.

Democracy, even beyond Lincoln, has gained a lot of popularity. As a system of government, it is perhaps the most popular in the world today. And apart from nations, many other institutions have tried to implement, or at least simulate, its workings to an extent. And just maybe to some reasonable extent, the system has succeeded. This is not to say that the system is without its flaws: As a matter of fact, many times the decision of the majority is not always the best but then again, doesn’t every good thing come with its sour side. Democracy is a system that aims to give every man an equal voice, irrespective of the diversities that seems to drive us as far apart. Democracy is not a respecter of skin colour or other physical properties, it doesn’t discriminate based on intellectual capabilities; a fool’s vote is worth the same as a sage’s vote (even though it is often difficult to decipher who is which). And as much as I don’t always agree with the outcomes of the democratic process, I believe it still remains the best system of governance for the mere reason that it keeps a society in check!

So the Electoral Commission of the Obafemi Awolowo University Students’ Union decided to allow only students that have attained a CGPA of 2.5 and above be officers of the Union and I found this quite interesting, for the mere reason that it apparently shatters the very building blocks of the democracy we seem to be quite passionate about. And almost all that have endorsed this stance has done so on the premise of the statement; “How would someone who has less than a 2.5 CGPA be able to cope with leading our Union?” and more than even the decision, I believe this statement to be comical. We might as well say people with less than 2.5 CGPA do not have the intellectual capability to vote and leave them out of the whole process. And as much as I agree that some minimum benchmarks be in place to set some standard, I do not believe threading the CGPA lines once again is the way out. If the University would still recognize students with less than 2.5 CGPAs as her students and the Union would still tax them as her members, it is definitely not democratic to say these students do not deserve a chance at the leadership of the Union. Who knows? The electorate might even find them more capable than the so-called CGPA Intellectuals. Sadly, I am but one of many and the best I can do is state my opinion and hope persons of like minds (whether contrary or similar opinions) can critic and share their opinions. Just maybe, we’d be able to work out something from this Academic Aristocracy or as I’ll like to call it; DemoCrazy.

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