“So, verily, with every difficulty, there is a relief”, says Allah (SWT) in the Noble Qur’an (Q94:6).
This verse perfectly captured the feelings of the members of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), University of Lagos branch, who thronged Julius Berger Hall, the venue of the Congress where the newly elected Central Executive Committee were announced to the world after a long and tortuous proscription and resuscitation process.
The executives will manage the affairs of the branch for the 2017/18 academic session.
Mr Yusuff Olorungbebe of the Urban and Regional Planning department was declared as the Amir by the Qazeem Akinlotan-led Shurah Committee.
Other elected executives are: Abdul Qadir Ahmad Ayobami (Electrical/Electronics Engineering) as Naibul-Amir (Admin); Sulaimon Abdullahi Olalekan (Geosciences) as Naibul-Amir (Da’wah); Agbelekale Jafar Olamide (Systems Engineering) as General Secretary; Adeosun Sodiq Abayomi (Chemistry) as Assistant General Secretary and Muhammad Olalekan Yahya (Accounting) as Financial Secretary.
The image maker (PRO) of the society is Salami Ibrahim Oladipupo of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Luqman Uqbah Oluwaseun of Law is the Welfare Officer, Balogun Abubakar Abimbola (Computer Engineering) is the Asset Maintenance Officer, while Adejumo Ibrahim Adegoke (Accounting) was appointed as the Internal Auditor. Adisa Muritala Bamidele (Mechanical Engineering) and Abdul Kareem Onimisi (HKHE) are Director of Studies and Muadhin 1 respectively.
The Committee elected Jimoh Bilikis Titilayo (Botany) as the Amirah (the female head) while Ajani Umu-Haani Temitope (History & Strategic Studies) and Taiwo Sumayyah Amoke (System Engineering) will serve Allah through the offices of Naibatul-Amirah and Secretary (Sisters Circle) respectively.
Aderounmu Adeezat Adebimpe (Finance) is now the PRO (Sisters Circle), while Balogun Tawakalitu Omobolaji (Economics) emerged as the Treasurer, Welfare Officer (Sisters Circle) went to Sulaimon Sakinah Olaoluwa (Arts and Social Sciences Education) and her Assistant (Welfare) is Rasak Muinat Busayo (Microbiology), while the Editor-in-Chief for the sisters is Bashir Rodiyyah Folashade (Law).
Seven out of 28 offices remain vacant.
The Selection Process
In an exclusive chat with The Renaissance, the Shurah Committee Chairman, Mr Qasim Akinlotan, a 400L Zoology student said the process of the appointment of the central executives started after they had appointed and inaugurated executives for seven out of eight faculties in the University as promised by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Rahamon Bello in July 2017.
The faculty heads include Musa AbdulAzeez, Faculty of Science; Salahudeen Taiwo Hassan, Faculty of Engineering; Ajenifuja Abdulquadri, Faculty of Business Administration; Shittu Farouk, Faculty of Environmental Science; AbduQawiyy Fashola, Faculty of Education; Ibrahim Anifowoshe, Faculty of Law and Babs Lawal Mubarak, Faculty of Social Science.
According to him, the committee swung into action the same day it was inaugurated and called for interested candidates to pick nomination forms to occupy the 28 offices at the central executive committee of the branch.
“For a candidate to qualify, he or she must have 3.0 minimum CGPA and have no pending carryover as of last semester, among others. Thereafter, those who picked forms were invited for interview by the Shurah committee and were screened accordingly.
“At first, the committee held two interview sessions but later allowed for a third interview session to cater for those who had issues with submitting their nomination forms in earnest and those who were still interested in picking up forms”, Mr Akinlotan said.
The committee, TheRenaissanceNg learnt, was supervised by the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs in line with the provisions of the Bye-Laws and completed its work of appointment of the central executives. The final report was formally submitted to the Dean of Students Affairs, Professor Ademola Adeleke.
How it all started
It will be recalled that the activities of the Unilag Muslim students’ body were suspended in November 2015 on the heels of an “anonymous” letter addressed to the Unilag management by some faceless groups accusing the organisation of financial misappropriation.
The letter also alleged that the society was under the external influence and was operating a partisan “Shurah” (consensus) system.
However, MSSN Unilag denied all the allegations.
Apparently helpless, the aggrieved students who had benefited immensely from the laudable programmes of the society – a fully registered group on campus – took to the social media to protest the closure of the Society with the hashtag #BringBackOurMSSN. They also held a series of peaceful demonstrations and press conferences to clear the air on the matter.
During the two-year ban, the students were denied the opportunity of benefitting from several laudable and beneficial MSSN Unilag academic and spiritual programmes such as Fiqh Sessions, Cafe2001 Lectures, Hifz (Qur’anic memorization classes), Faculty Forums, Academic Counselling Seminars and Orientation Programmes for fresh students, among others.
The aggrieved students will not forget so soon the humiliation they went through during the 2016 and 2017 Ramadan fasts – how they were sent out from the Unilag Mosque for non-payment of N500 I’tikaf registration fee due to the proscription of their MSSN branch.
But their endurance in the face of persecution did not go in vain after all especially now that the ban has been lifted and the society now has executives at the faculty and central levels.
…Past Amirs (Leaders) React
Today’s Congress marks a new beginning for the MSSN, the entire Unilag Muslim studentry and the Nigerian Muslim student community.
In his reaction, the former Amir of the Society, Abdur-Rasheed Adeoye said it is a victory for the student workers who strive on the Path of Allah to spread His message in the academic environments.
“It is also a defeat for the distractors who have nothing to offer other than to condemn and criticise without proffering solutions, with a view to gaining control or power without legitimacy”, he added.
Another former Amir, Ustadh Ishaq Yekini said: “While I call on the new executive members to work with all Muslims in the university, they should be aware and careful of the hypocrites among them; those who might want to work against them without proofs and be a stumbling block in the way of their success.
“Remember how Allah described the hypocrites in His book; “When it is said to them, ‘Come, fight in the way of Allah or (at least) defend yourselves’, they said: Had we known that fighting will take place, we would certainly have followed you.” They were that day, nearer to disbelief than to faith, saying with their own mouths what wasn’t in their hearts. And Allah has full knowledge of what they conceal.” (Q. 3: 167)
A former Amir of the MSSN Branch, Barrister Abdul-Ganiy Anjorin said:“They should work to unite the ranks of all Muslims on campus irrespective of their affiliations, organisations or groups.
By: Rasheed Abubakar