In the wake of this week's series of letter writing between Unilorites and The Executive arm of the Students Union, I caught up with the writer of 'AN OPEN LETTER TO MR PRESIDENT... ' Mr Akeukanwo Suleiman and we had a chat. Here's an excerpt of it. Enjoy...
BashSays: Good evening Sir. Kindly introduce yourself to our esteemed readers.
Al-Qalam: Good Evening, Am Sulaiman Akeukanwo Al-Qalam, a student of Faculty of Communication and Information Science, Department of Computer Science, University of Ilorin.
BashSays: Your name came to light on campus this week after your "OPEN LETTER" to the Students Union hierarchy went viral on social media, what prompted this action?
Al-Qalam: I will like to digress a bit. The name 'THE PEN' as been around the campus for a while and with the indulgence of the Student Union President, the newly admitted student were welcomed on campus with the article 'Welcome to Unilorin"
And on their matriculation ceremony an article titled "Happy Matriculation" was my idea of making the environment an academic friendly one to all being admitted.
So the name is one that rings bell but not my full name, which was as a result of the fact that the letter in question will have indeed made no impact, one it is making currently, if it was written incognito. I was prompted to inquire the state of student welfarism because such is needed. We all know what the Student Union as offered us all. And I will like to Inform us all that aside my plea as stated in item seven of the letter, I was only asking questions that needed answer. Alhamdulilah, someone as done that on behalf of the entire student populace. Barrack Obama said and I quote "you will be judge according to what you build and not that which you destroy". Am optimistic that we will all get a reply from Com. Alao Idris Observation. I have known him to be a builder!!!
BashSays: While some have praised your efforts, others believe it's a publicity stunt towards a possible political ambition, how true is this claim?
Al-Qalam : It is not far fetched that we all can not be on the same page as regard issue of this kind. Some will be informed, some will criticise, and some will turn it into a political tussle. This is not a question of political ambition. But one that needed our constitution to be put in play.
BashSays: You were quoted to have said in your letter "Arise oh comrades!...thousands of students United can't be defeated by potbellied administrators ". Are you inciting the Students against the SU?
Al-Qalam: I indeed implore all to stand firm as we await a trying time ahead of us. Please be careful of your use of word. You and I knew I wasn't inciting anything out of my letter but rather making a plea on behalf of fellow colleagues and largely making an inquiry about our play book, our constitution, our ground norm.
BashSays: The SA to the president on media and publicity already responded to your letter, what's your reaction to his response?
Al-Qalam : Yes, I have seen the SA's reply, though to clear the air and to affirm the fact that the contents of my letter are facts and not fallacies, I will react ASAP to the SA's comment, it can never be a reply to my letter as my letter was not addressed to the SA. And his reply was despised of date, salutation and address of the person he his addressing. This is one of the reason why my letter was not written incognito. He has gotten lot of response which depict the SA of being an accident of history. Never the less, I am using this euphoria to advice the SA to try in his possible best not to loose his sanity.
BashSays: What is your definition of students activism/unionism?
Al-Qalam: What is my definition of Student Unionism? That is one of the purpose of my open letter, my definition as being highlighted in the letter and as it has been reviewed by Unionist. I encourage us all to embrace the spirit of leadership as been displayed by the prophet. It is not far fetched, he his the leader of all leaders.
BashSays: Your assessment of the Alao Idris led administration?
Al-Qalam: As at this present time, I will pend my comment on assessing the current SU administration. But am sure we can all read between the lines.
BashSays: Your parting shot
Al-Qalam: Just like i have, via the letter, I am imploring all unilorite never to lose their sense of observation and to never lose our sanity.
BashSays: It's nice having you on our platform. Thanks for sparing some of your time with us.
Al-Qalam: You are most welcome sir!!!