Good day, dear reader of the LSS Blog.
It has been ages since I last spoke to you and I wonder how you have been doing without my voice to guide you. Are you okay? Are you in good health? How is your skin? And how about your mental health? Is it fine? Yes? No? I am really sorry for all the stress you are going through, really, I am. It is just the way of the faculty, you see. Assignments, exams, presentations (don’t you just hate group assignments?) etc. They say it will pass, but everyone has been saying that since Year 1 and here we are, still stressed, still tired, still dying.
I am not here to talk about schoolwork, anyways. I am here because the semester is almost over and the time has come for the most interesting two weeks of the school year, besides the Abiola Ojo Games; the ELECTIONS. Now, let’s be clear about one thing; the LSS needs new executives to function. The elections are important for the continuity of the system and presents the opportunity for new ideas, innovations and students with the will, passion and desire to serve and make an impact.
And now that rubbish is out of the way, let us talk about what elections are really for.
ELECTIONS ARE FOR HASHTAGS: The first thing that hits you once election szn is under way are the hashtags. There are two types of problematic hashtags; the acronyms and the plain ridiculous. Under the first one, for some weird reason, candidates believe that their campaign hashtags/slogans have to be acronyms that spell out whatever they believe they are bringing the table (think of words that rhyme with flash, or words that remind you of a certain Kanu Nwankwo advert). While this would be cute and adorable if the contestants were secondary school students, it just comes off as laughable when university students decide that it is the best way to convince us to vote for them. A typical law campaign acronym-hashtag reads like this:
L- LEADERSHIP QUALITIES
The second category of hashtags do not need any serious exposition. You have seen them; I have seen them; hashtags that just confuse you when you see them and make you seriously consider the competence of the person behind it (#EverywhereGoJustSt**). Do they not have friends? Do they not have people that like them? Jesus take the wheel, plis.
ELECTIONS ARE FOR WORDS: Omo, the amount of words you will see during this period will amaze you. The broadcast messages are top material, and are divided into three parts;
The Quote: your typical LSS candidate brings you a quote from some long dead philosopher or jurist; basically, somebody that nobody gives two fu**s about anymore. This quote is always fake deep and is intended to show you the idea behind the candidate’s plans for you.
The Declaration: here, the candidate humbly, modestly, unassumingly, and with great pleasure seeks to inform you of his or her intentions to enter, run, and contest in the race for the presidency, vice-presidency, general secretary, public relations officer, etc.
The Plan: Here, your candidate gives you a summary or breakdown of the things they intend to do once elected, and it is here you are assaulted with various forms of grammar; Latin words, poorly constructed sentences and phrases that can only be conjured from the mind of a mad person. I mean, what the hell does it mean to “glorify the culture”? Why is a general secretary looking to glorify the culture? What is the culture? God have mercy upon us.
ELECTIONS ARE FOR RUNNING: This might seem like a very obvious point, seeing as we need candidates to contest in order for elections. But do we need everyone to contest? There are at least three candidates for every position. Nobody is even unopposed. My theory is that the only people to blame for the trend of everyone running for posts are the lecturers. If our results come out fine at the end of every semester and we did not have so much stress on our head, do you think that these people will be interested in these things? As law students, it is drummed into our heads that our CVs are really important. Not just academics, but internships, committee work and leadership positions. In other words, the LSS is now an extracurricular. In light of this, can we really blame every Kunle, Obi and Amina for running for every available post?
ELECTIONS ARE FOR PROMISES: Honestly, we have suffered. The number of things we have been told, and have believed, is outrageous. Even if you people do, I will not forget Supreme’s fifteen million naira. Ah, that man honestly deserves to spend some time in jail. And if you are one of those who clapped when he made that outrageous promise, you deserve jail time too. What of the one who said he will give everyone a flash drive preloaded with materials? Some people did not copy notes that semester because they were expecting electronic note series. Elections are for promises, ladies and gentlemen. Wild and ridiculous promises. It does not matter what level the elections are for; federal, state, local government or Law Student’s Society. If you want to win, you gotta tell the people something they have never heard before; and in the faculty of law, we have heard EVERYTHING. But even that is a blessing in disguise as it helps to stir thee dormant creativity hidden in every student; now, we have recycled lies, refurbished lies, London-used lies. Just find a way to make it a headline and we you are good to go. Tell us you will demolish the annex and build a new one, tell us you will sack the lecturers and appoint young men who care about the educational system, tell us-, tell us things, man. We are here to listen to you outclass politicians and outdo yourself in manufacturing promises, and knowing (some of) us, we will believe.
ELECTIONS ARE FOR CAMPAIGN PICTURES/POSTERS: Two sets of people really profit from elections; graphic designers, and photographers. We are bombarded with all sorts of pictures of our classmates in suits and ties and waistcoats; in different poses; hands to the skies, hands on the waists, hands raised in the LSS version of a Nazi salute, hands by the side, hands in front, and even one major candidate is pulling his suit as if it is owing him money. Bro, calm down. Plis.
The posters are not outdone too. Colors and color combinations of all kinds are put together to attract our eyes. Packaging matters and your candidates will not carry last; blue, red, pink, orange, anything at all to stand out. How about the fonts too? Large fonts, small fonts, straight fonts, curvy ones, big bold letters, cute words italicized. Ugh, a designer’s paradise. You absolutely love to see it.
ELECTIONS ARE FOR BACKSTABBING: Yes, absolutely. Elections are for betrayals, rumor-mongering, secret confessions, exposes; the whole can of worms. Friends will turn on friends, enemies will form an alliance, secret information will be traded; anything to get into that tiny office. During the campaign, you will hear of various things your favorite candidate did; some shocking, some ridiculous, some just outright funny. I remember a couple of years ago when a candidate was slandered for having a “clique” of friends. Apparently, you need to be friends with everyone in your class before you can contest for the LSS Presidency.
The best thing about all of these rumors is that there are always willing ears to hear, and willing mouths to spread it. Law students are top-tier, top of the line gossips. They thrive on malicious talk and slander, which is why all the various anonymous sites (Curious Cat, Saraha etc.) are always engaged with. There are bitter, vile things to say, and hot piping tea to share. Jesus take the will.
The elections are a great time; fun, banter, sadness, introspection, and on rare occasions, tough decisions. Sometimes, you might have to ‘sly’ your guys if their manifesto is nonsense, other time, you might not even vote. You will lose friends and gain new ones. For people in the lower classes, you might find new role models among your ‘seniors’, and in the same vein, you might come to detest some of them. I would give a speech about how politics need not be dirty and we all should live in peace and harmony but, everyone in the faculty is at least 16 and if at this age, you do not know that relationships and values are more important than offices, then you deserve whatever you end up with.
You know what? You all should fight. Get dirty and see if you enjoy being in office after slandering and lying your way to get there. See if your life is great after losing your friendships for nonsense titles. Maybe nothing will happen to you, and your tenure will be great; and maybe something will happen and you have the worst time of your life. Just remember that like the North, the faculty (and the internet) never forgets.
Signed: Oluchukwu babyy.