At the end of my last article, I promise to dwell more on the above subject. Even though it took a long time coming, I intend to compare and contrast the two systems of governance in most tertiary institutions in the country and along the long run determine which is best suited for ABU Zaria.
In the last article, I highlighted some of the challenges facing the ABU SRC and how to overcome them. However, if these challenges seem too numerous and hard to overcome, should we just fold our hands and watch the system collapse and doomed? I believe the answer is no. An alternative form of governance need to be found, alias SUG.
However, before we jump into the ship and conclude that it is the best for our dear university we need to know some things. Firstly, SUG (Students union government) is the form of union popular in most universities. Even though banished in ABU, it is still quite popular in neighboring universities such as BUK, UDUS as well as across the nation.
The SUG, like the SRC is responsible for the welfare of and caters for the needs of all students. But unlike its counterpart, everyone has the right to vote and be voted for (those who are eligible anyways), as elections are being conducted for all the posts. The elected individuals then serve as the officials of the union until their tenure elapse or are being impeached. While the president and other members are being elected indirectly in the SRC, the president and his entire cabinet are being ushered into office by a simple majority votes of the public.
As different as these systems may be, they however are alike in that both represent and cater for the welfare of their members. The differences however, are numerous. Take for example the way both choose their officials. While the SUG officials are elected by the members in an election, the SRC resorts to choosing their officials behind the scenes in an indirect fashion.
The former process may seem to be more advantageous in that the people decide who their leaders should be and ensure emergence of competent leaders. It also exposes the students to active politics, after all they would one day be the leaders of this nation. The presence of a regulatory body; The parliament is also another feature found lacking in the former. This single factor may prove to be a reason why the executives of the SRC may do as they wish, as there is lack of regulation of their activities. Any organization with lack of regulation and curtailing of excesses is bound to suffer. Well, let’s not say its lacking altogether. After all, what are the school management for? The level of interference in the choice of leaders by other bodies (the school management inclusive) is minimal in the SUG, compared to the level in SRC. In SUG, the will of the people always prospers. Another advantage of the SUG is that there is adequate representation as each individual was voted by majority and could be hold accountable and responsible for his/her doings. Students are more comfortable when they know who is representing them.
Without doubt too, the SUG is not 100 percent perfect and has its own flaws too. For example, many attribute the peaceful nature of the university to the SRC, As the SUG they say breeds violence. Cultism too is another symbol of the SUG. However,We seem to have forget that some institutions in the country are having the same system yet with no any sign of trouble. Corruption some may say is rampant in the latter style, as opposed to the minimal level in the former. However, even if there is corruption in the SUG the parliament can stand against it. In the case where by both the executives and the parliament connive and siphon the funds of the association into their pockets, the congress can oppose them or even impeach them. After all, the congress is the most powerful organ of the government. A recent case where by a sitting president was impeached by the congress and replaced by the vice in a certain university in the country, might just be a good example. Some people are of the notion that the SUG are there to fight the school management at all turns, which may in turn result into a negative consequence to the officials (expulsion or rustication per say) or even banishment of the union. But alas, no. The officials may oppose some certain decisions of the management but with the correct diplomacy and little bit of politicking, mutual agreements can be reached.
Before I conclude, I must say these systems are not entirely perfect and each may have its flaws and weaknesses. But that doesn’t means we should hold our hands and not choose any. The lesser evil should be chosen,which I believe to be the latter. Unless the SRC is not modified to include the provision of parliament etc., the idea of the SUG is more suitable, preferable and tenable to our institution. On the issue of good governance however, the SUG may not necessarily be the solution but i promise to dwell much on that on my next article. For now, I take my bow!
God bless Ahmadu Bello University Zaria!
God bless Abusites!
Aluta continua, Victoria ascerta!