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An interview with a presidential aspirant for Law Students Association of Nigeria, University of Uyo Chapter, Gideon Edem. Gideon Edem is a 500-level student of the Faculty of Law, UNIUYO. He is aspiring to be the Association’s President and this interview exposes his mind and motivation for the race, a review of the past government, the future he sees and a lot more. Enjoy.
Q- Hello. Let’s meet you.
A- I am Gideon Edem. A young man passionate about serving humanity.
Q- Why do you intend to run for the LAWSAN Presidency?
A- Thank you very much for the question. My resolve to contest as LAWSAN president stems from my desire to take up responsibilities and provide solutions for the immediate needs of any community I find myself.
My interest is further fueled by the fact that I have been very observant during my four years stay in the faculty of Law and I have observed that successive leaderships have missed a mark and that over time we have placed priority on things that don’t matter and displace things that really matter. With these observations, I can comfortably conclude that I have knowledge of the runnings and activities of LAWSAN, her victories and losses, her strengths and weaknesses and I am confident that the solution to our problems would require a creative and pioneering approach and I want to take up the responsibility to provide these solutions.
Q- How would you rate the performance of the current administration?
A- Great question. For us to move forward, it is imperative to have an honest evaluation of the past, examine the present realities and develop a strategy for the future; making right the wrongs of the past and surpassing the status quo. In rating the performance of the current administration, I must state that every government has its mantra and underlying policies; and the past administration came in with the mantra of litigation and immediately set up the litigation which was used to achieve that objective. I would say that there has never been a time where the judicial arm of LAWSAN has been more active than during the last administration and even had a real life case of false imprisonment challenged in court by yours truly.
To me that was a success recorded by the last administration.
However, I’ll state clearly that I would rate the government poorly in the development of the capacity of the average person.
The average LAWSANite was never informed of government decisions as it revolved around a selected few who felt like elites who brought the president to power.
Very notably was the fact that deserving LAWSANites were robbed of their awards and people who would go to any length to mortgage the collective rights of the faculty were being rewarded.
In this aspect, my sincere opinion is that the government failed.
In the end, the quality of a government is measured by the quality of it’s people and any government that fails to invest in it’s people cannot be considered to have succeeded.
I just remembered that there was a period during the administration where students were trained on paper presentations; were given given contemporary legal issues to research on and present. That was commendable but again how many persons knew of such an event? Those are things we should use to grow our prestige and improve our reputation in the eyes of other associations of Law students nationwide but this was not forthcoming.
Generally for me, it was not very impressive.
Q- If you could change 3 things in the faculty, what would they be?
A- There are definitely many things we can change but just so I can restrict myself to the question to avoid being underscored (hahahaha)
The 3 things I would love to change are :
– Election dates : the conduct of our elections in first semester is a major problem that should be sorted and I don’t mind if it shortens my tenure but we really should go back to the times when we had elections in second semester so we can have a running government into the new year. That is the acceptable practice.
– Overdependence on students’ dues.
I’ve waited on administration upon administration to have means of generating revenue internally so basic things can be done without having to fall back to the purse. I have workable plans to get this done.
-LAWSAN Bank Account. To me, this is vital. We should have a lawsan bank account for financial propriety.
Q- Your campaign mantra is ‘The Mission’, can you give us a little insight on what you hope to achieve with this mission?
A- The Mission is a great call and as you rightly said, it is the campaign mantra of the Gideon Edem Campaign organization.
A mission is a set of tasks that fulfils a purpose or duty.
We have the purpose of building a UNITED LAWSAN where the Marxist class rule does not play out; where everyone is given a sense of belonging and where we can beat our chest to say “we made it work”.
It is imperative to state that victory at the polls is not the mission fulfilled but it is a chance to fulfill the mission in governance.
In essence, the mission is to fix LAWSAN. I’ll explain how.
When last was a collective decision made in LAWSAN? It is really a long time ago but the mission is to give LAWSANites a voice through congress to make their decisions which would stand. For according to section 9(2) of the LAWSAN constitution, sovereignty belongs to the CONGRESS OF LAWSAN from which all other arms of LAWSAN shall derive
all their power and authority.
Again, the mission is to build a LAWSAN for LAWSANites. We cannot keep looking outside, we need to brand LAWSAN and LAWSANites to show them to the world.
The Mission is to increase the capacity of LAWSANites by offering them an opportunity to learn a skill during the weekends by providing a subsidy for interested students.
This is just a peek into what’s possible. There’s more that will be revealed to you as we progress.
In a bid to fix things right, normalcy should be returned in our activities as LAWSAN has waited for so long to have a government selfless enough to shorten its stay so as to correct an age long defect; a step I will gladly take.
Q- Do you feel you can influence administrative policies so as to favour the students of the faculty?
A- Hahaha, the people that make up the administration are human beings and not tigers and so I’m very confident that we can influence the administration to favour the students of the faculty.
Everyone would hear needed,nd feel it is unlikely but this is the truth, I don’t need to look bigger or develop bigger biceps to have the needed influence.
If we all wait on that, then I probably want to exercise undue influence on the administration.
However, we are more than we have been assumed to be. We can have the administration stand with our decisions if we adopt a pioneering and creative approach.
We don’t need to be confrontational. I have a workable plan and in the end, we all would be amazed at how much we could achieve. Just trust that we can!
Q- If eventually you get elected, how do you plan to synergize with other faculties to promote the University of Uyo as a brand?
A- The truth remains that Faculty of Law cannot exist in isolation. We must coexist with other faculties to grow the University of Uyo.
It is a great thing that we produced the SUG president and that will pique our interest in the affairs of the union.
I have a great relationship with other faculties having served as a senator at the Students Union Senate once and it would not be a big deal creating the synergy needed, but at the president advisory council, policies that would protect and promote the brand ‘UNIUYO’ will always be advocated for.
Q- It was wonderful having this conversation with you.
A- Same here. Thank you.