It is no common knowledge that the active involvement of UIMSAites in political service, with the Senate chamber being the most significant, has been noticed to take a downward trend as they advance in medical school. This trend has been noticeable for quite a while now and questions cannot help but be raised. Are the students developing intentional apathy as they go higher in medical school? If they are, why? Or are the activities of medical school so laborious that it affords them little or no chance to engage in political activities? This article today seeks to address these boiling questions in the hearts of many UIMSAites by providing answers to the reason behind the survival of this trend over the years. 

First of all, it must be stated clearly that the political system in UIMSA is one that is very organised and well structured. It is a system that tries its best to be all inclusive as it takes into account every single UIMSAite, from the 100 level class up to the 600 level class. Due to this fact, the political season is one that is very exciting and thus, highly anticipated by UIMSAites. 

This is because it is an opportunity to witness the process of the injection of a new set of leaders who are willing and dedicated to serve. With all this in mind, one cannot help but ask why there is a record of a decline in active political service, especially in the Senate, among the senior classes.

One of the things that makes the political structure of UIMSA admirable is because it is built on the foundation of three major factors: accountability, transparency and diligence amongst the leaders. It is worthy of note that UIMSAites do not at all, by any stretch of the imagination, take any of these qualities for granted. In fact, these are the qualities that are the most x-rayed amongst candidates during the climax of the electioneering season, which is none other than the press night. Any candidate who falls short of any of these qualities will most likely not be voted in. Therefore, it is very safe to say that the UIMSAites are, to a large extent, very demanding. This is the reason why every leader who steps into any position, takes it very serious and gives it his or her all because he or she must not fall short of the standards of the political system. It is most certain that if a UIMSAite is asked if he or she would condone a leader who is not accountable, transparent and diligent, he or she will respond with a resounding and vehement “NO”. This therefore begs the question: Should anyone who knows that he or she cannot give in his or her best in office bother running for political positions?

It is no doubt whatsoever that Medicine and Surgery is one of the most strenuous courses one could think of in the University. In the University of Ibadan, it seems to be even more tasking. There is a popular saying that the higher you go, the tougher it becomes and Medicine is not an exception. Therefore, it is safe to say that those in the clinical arm, are facing more challenging situations than those in the preclinical arm and those in the preclinical arm face more difficulties than those in the preliminary stage. In life, we are often faced with times where we have a burning desire and passion for something but circumstances do not usually afford us that opportunity. Take for instance, a man who loves farming but works in a bank. Despite his love for farming, he cannot make the mistake of having a large farm because the crops stand a very high risk of dying off because of improper attention given to them. The best however he can do, is to employ labourers who will do the job for him and from time to time, he will be supervising them and showing them some of the techniques he knows as regards farming. The same applies to the seniors in the clinical arm. Deep within their hearts, a large percentage of them would definitely want to serve UIMSAites with all that they have but they just can’t cope with the standard of the political system in UIMSA due to the demanding nature of their studies. Instead, they prefer to play advisory roles, passing their wisdom to those who find themselves there in order to achieve a better UIMSA for you, for me and for all of us. For me, that is a show of love for the organisation and a very complete contrast to what we witness in Nigeria today. Therefore, it is good that we acknowledge the efforts being made as they make efforts to do the best in the way that they can and they should be saluted for always putting the organisation first before themselves. 

Okoronkwo Nmesomachi

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