Hamid Fatimah Omotayo reports,
A final-year student of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Biochemistry Department, Muhammad Adeyemi, emerged winner of the Vice-presidential elections of the Commonwealth Students Association (CSA), which held between October 9 and 10, 2022.
Adeyemi, who is popular as ADRAT, is a former member of PEN Press and the first West African and Nigerian to be elected as the Vice-president in the history of the association.
The CSA is a youth-led body under the umbrella of the Commonwealth Youth Networks. It was created to empower students to advocate for their rights, develop a strong governance system and ensure their voices are integrated into all levels of national decision-making processes. It is the second largest student organisation around the world, after the Global Students’ Forum (GSF). This association boasts of members in five continents or regions of the Commonwealth, namely Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, Europe and the Pacific region.
In April 2022, the CSA called for nominations to fill nine high-profile positions on its executive team for 2022 through 2024. The inauguration and installation ceremony of the newly-elected executives of the CSA will be held in 2023, which was declared the year of youth by the Heads of Government of the Commonwealth earlier this year, to celebrate the golden anniversary of the Commonwealth Youth Programme.
“The fact remains that I have always been well prepared for this and when I see the need, I will take the lead. Expressing my interest in student representation at the international level to effect educational policies as they affect young people has always been a goal of mine,” Adeyemi told PEN Press.
Adeyemi, the second-youngest member of the incoming executives of the CSA, opined that age doesn’t matter, maintaining that anyone with sufficient preparation and competence can take on t tohe mantle of leadership.
In his words, “If you distinguish yourself, no one will even attempt to denigrate you. Although people often attempt to use it [age] as a weapon against one’s personality. When you make the audacious move your adversaries never anticipated, no matter how powerful they are, they will bow.”
“And the effect is; the achievements and changes I knew I could bring will never have been there, which is why I believe my silence would have rather been an unforgivable sin because I knew how to do it but wouldn’t do.”
Adeyemi appreciated the immediate past NANS President for his unalloyed support and other national student organization leaders in the Commonwealth countries for believing and entrusting their mandate to him. He noted that they stood firm and protected his candidacy.
“This is a great privilege, a clarion call to duty and a great kindness done to me. I am deeply humbled, and I will not let you down,” he vowed, assuring that the incoming team, which he is part of, will provide exemplary service, uncompromising commitment and unparalleled achievements.
“To my fellow students in the 56 Commonwealth countries, I stand as a friend and brother in our collective struggle for a better society across our educational institutions. Know that whatever you set your eyes on and put your mind to, you can always achieve it. I have risen from the lowest level as an ordinary student to where God has positioned me today. To attain sustainable development, we must bugde the path to accelerated development in BuildngOurFutureTogether,” he concluded with words of encouragement.
Hamid Fatimah Omotayo is a Student of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University and the Financial Secretary of PEN Press.