AN INTERVIEW WITH INAH JOSEPH AN SUG PRESIDENTIAL ASPIRANTS, SUG ELECTION UNICAL- 2016
By DANIEL FAITHFUL
1. I would like you to introduce yourself?
I.J: I am Inah Joseph, a senator of the SUG UNICAL representing Hall 5 constituency
What faculty and level?
I.J: faculty of law, 400 level
Is this your first time in the SUG Parliament?
I.J: No second,
I.J: I represented off-campus constituency, in the comrade Ajang, Emmanuel led SUG, and also the step aside scribe for NACRISS
(National Association of Cross River State Students) and also UNICAL lawn tennis gold medalist in the inter faculty games 2015,
We would digress a little to the external affairs, are you aware of the Uniport Protest?
I.J: In passing and sketchy, what has that got to do with the interview?
Some questions that bother on student’s welfare and SUG Representation of Students
2. What do you think is the reason for the rise in students protest in tertiary institutions?
I.J: There is always a cause for an event, if you take a critical study of the student protest in institutions, you would realize that it bothers on the relationship between the student and management. If the management and student enjoy a good relationship some issues which have metamorphosed into protest, are issues that ought to have been managed. The SUG as we all know is to represent student in general and intercede on their behalf, in areas where there is an issue, by way of paying heed to complains brought forward by the SUG, it follows that the issue is centred on relationship between students and management. If this relationship is perfect or let’s say cordial, be it school fees, accommodation, or lecture venues problems can be addressed amicably not necessarily by way of protest.
3. What do you think could have been done differently to prevent the sad events that ensued in UNIPORT Protest? To prevent such protest from being violent?
I. J: By conscientiously informing students on the need to remain calm and give room for the representatives to institute a complaint on their behalf, which if presented in the right manner would be addressed by the school management, especially the UNICAL management, under the leadership of Prof. Zana Akpagu, who has prioritized the welfare of Nigerian students in his led government.
So that is to say you are in support of a protest if necessary?
I.J:Protest first of all, is not a step in that should be resorted to, if an issues arises, we are operating in a civil society protest is militant, there are other civil ways to address issues, that bother on the well being of Nigerian students other than protest, and I think it would be to the credit of any student union government administration to lead and achieve as well as well address students challenges and promises made to Nigerian students before their emergence into office, without resorting to protest of any kind.
4. Also we have noticed that financial mismanagement has been a central point around which moves for suspension or impeachment of union leaders from office, what is responsible?
I.J: (Laughs), The senate has the role of checkmating the affairs of the executives, if the constitution backs it up, then it is a course in the right direction.
5. In your own terms define corruption?
I.J: When a thing is corrupt it is said to be debased, in a depraved state, it is morally unjust, perverted, degenerate and is objectively unacceptable, it is bad.
What is Inah Joseph’s personal assessment of that which is corrupt?
That which is morally wrong, legally unacceptable and religiously appalling and generally insensitive.
Can we get some examples?
Misappropriation of funds, bribery, lies, favouritism and tribalism.
So in a situation where you are elected the president and there are so many law students occupying key committees and assigned to special projects, what judgment should be passed by students of the University of Calabar Community?
I.J: Without fear or favour I will tell you I am a straight forward person, not because I am speaking for myself but others can attest to that. Committees are being given not by the president but by principal officers of the senate, the SUG president has no hand in the duty of the senate leadership.
6. Recently financial mismanagement has been a central point for the suspension or impeachment proceedings for union leaders?
I.J: It is an individual problem and not a general one. The mismanagement of funds by any union leader has never been seen as a collective decision of an arm of government but that of an individual.
7. In what ways do you think there can be transparency in financial management?
I.J: Well by proper checks and supervision by other arms of government carrying out that duty, for instance when, money has been released the project monitoring committee, should follow up to see, to see if the money was adequately used. There is already a structure in place, people are saddled with the responsibility of checking the excesses of the executive, the senate and relevant committees bestowed with this should do that religiously
8. Are there any concerns about your eligibility for running with security and academic requirements? some things have been circulating
It is a sponsored rumour by the other aspirants who consider, me more than a match and they think by creating an erroneous impression about me, they would in any way reduce the plethora of support I enjoy from Nigerian students. Same goes for the question of security clearance.
You are assuring us you are clean?
I.J:Yea very sure, it is left in the hands of the CUECO to prove otherwise.
9. What do you think would be impact on student’s welfare concerning the planned relocation of certain business outfit within the school premises and hostel by COBOC?
I.J: The buildings are temporal structures and temporal structures which are unsightly, this is a welcome development, provided there would be no hardship on students getting their meals, and other services within a short distance. The structures being put up now should have such facilities within the premises, such as those in the faculty of biological and physical science, and in the main library building.
10. As an SUG Presidential aspirant by what ideologies, tenets, principles and objectives would you run by if elected?
I.J: Union Leadership is not and can not be equated with secular politics. Politicians make empty promise but upon assumption of office into the Student Union Government Unical, Calabar. My ideology and belief would be centred on sincerity of purpose and open mindedness toward the people, approachability, all inclusiveness, objectivity and cordiality between the students and the management which will guarantee the future of our union.
Thank you for your time and success in your endeavours.
Daniel Faithful is a 300l student of Medicine and Surgery in the University of Calabar and a Campus journalist with Nigerian Union of Campus Journalist (NUCJ)