It’s once again time for us to elect student leaders for the only teacher training university in Ghana, UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION, WINNEBA! Aspiring student leaders are moving round from classroom to classroom, hostel to hostel, canteens and even summer huts where students are studying. It is not an easy task. Money that would have been used to pay fees is spent printing campaign materials, time that could have been used for studies is spent moving around to campaign, energy as well as other resources are spent.
Yes! It is very much understood that the University is not only a place where one acquires academic knowledge. It is a universal place where a lot of things such as socialisation and so on go on. While some people may be here to study and acquire a class, others are here to create network for themselves, some too may be looking for their life partners, I’m sure someone is here to discover how life in the university is like. And yet someone is just in need of the A4 sheet we are given at the end of the four years.
What motivates students to crumple for power? Is it just because they wbant to serve their colleagues or because of the prestige that comes with being a student leader? There may be more to it. If not, why would people disagree with the election results when they do not win? What does it mean to our prospective leaders to be a leader? What kind of leader will you be if you cannot accept the responsibility of allowing the winner to win? As prospective teachers, if we cannot agree on simple issues, what are we going to teach in our various classrooms?
Last academic year, the entire election was a court issue. None of the losers would accept defeat. Even after voting four times, one cannot proudly point to our SRC president. This is the foundation we lay to become leaders of this country, if we cannot accept the decision of the people now, how will we take it in future when more power and people are involved? It is not the one who keeps quiet that is wrong, sometimes we just have to keep quiet so that there will be order. In my opinion, a leader is one who agrees to step down for another and guides the one he gives power to towards the attainment of the goals of the group. If we’re all concerned about winning, how will we achieve our goals?
Interestingly, this is not the only university where people struggle for power. There have been reports on election issues from University of Ghana and other campuses. Do these prospective student leader think about the welfare of the students at all? They want to win at all cost! National Union of Ghana Students, which is the mother of all have not done much to help address the situation. It also has its fair share of election issues.
Can we all agree to eschew tribal politics and vote for competency? Will we vote for issues and not for people who are from our department? Can we all say no to voting for someone because she or he is our church member and vote for one who gets God? I think that if we continue to do the ‘he’s Akan’, ‘she’s from the north’, ‘he’s from Volta’, ‘he’s a Ga’ and so on kind of politics, we’ll continue to have an SRC without a head. And we’ll be walking to and from the court everyday to have an election issues sorted out.
Remember the world is such a small place, if you begrudge me or I begrudge you because of an election today without thinking about tomorrow, we may just be throwing away bigger and better opportunities. In as much as we want power, let’s try as much as possible to think about tomorrow. Wise men day the people you meet on your way up are the same people you meet on your way down.