INTERVIEW: What I would like to be remembered for after my tenure – AASNID President, OAU Chapter

AASNID President, OAU Chapter
INTERVIEW: What I would like to be remembered for after my tenure – AASNID President, OAU Chapter
Valentine
Valentine
Chukwuka Igwe Valentine is the President of the Association of Anambra State Students in Nigeria and Diaspora (AASNID), Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife chapter. This  300-level undergraduate of the Department of Sociology was elected President of AASNID on December 23, 2020. In this chat with NEWS BOOM Editor-In-Chief, Timothy Agbor, Valentine reveals his plans of making the student association enviable on OAU campus and the country at large.
Excerpts:
Why did you contest for the president position of the association?
Well, having seen the situation on ground, I wanted better for Anambra state students. I also wanted to consolidate AASSNID and build a self sufficient association
What are the challenges confronting the association and how do you want to tackle them?
At the top of the list are fund raising, apathy of some of the members to association issues and logistical issues due to lack of any transport vehicle. There’s also the imposition of contrary ideologies by other Anambra student association.
What do you by imposition of contrary ideologies?
Right from time, we’ve had only one mandate which is Anambra student welfare, AASSNID is more of a social cultural association whose aim is catering for the welfare of Umu akukwuo ndi Anambra. Some of these other associations have now steered themselves towards politics and that is why i initiated a conference which was aimed at tackling that
The theme of the conference was  “the role of students in politics”. It was held on zoom platform on 10th of October 2020.
So, how has the association been coping since the school has embraced virtual classes?
It has not been easy especially with incessant power and data expenses but we are all getting used to it and looking for ways out. The  association is looking at ways to close these gaps.
There are many Igbo students who don’t identify with Igbo Associations just because they can’t speak Igbo, what are you doing to bring them on board and is there any plan to make them acquire Igbo language?
We have had this cases in the past and previous administrations planned for Igbo classes but wasn’t able to execute it due to unforeseen circumstances. Currently, we plan on partnering with FIS (Federation of Igbo Students) freshers’ committee, the plan is to inculcate Igbo learning classes with the ongoing tutorial classes. We hope to get virtual classes available for easy and wide reach.
Who are those that would teach them?
We have fluent Igbo speaking students who are well versed in Igbo culture, and they all volunteered for the program.
What is the relationship of the Association with Igbo Associations living in Ile-Ife and the state at large? Do they know of your existence and support you?
We have a budding relationship with Anambra welfare association Ile-Ife chapter and other indigenous associations around us and those that aren’t and we’ve been opportuned to be available for a number of their occasions.
Members of AASNID after a meeting
Members of AASNID after a meeting
What legacy do you and other members of your team want to leave behind after your tenure?
Also we have a very good relationship with most indigenous associations here in Ile – Ife and also at the  national and international level. Our recent affiliation is with ASA (Anambra State Association) worldwide.
At the end of tenure, I hope to have improved existing structures, a self sufficient association and not a politicized association, create international image and presence for the association. The interest of Anambra state students has always been my priority and I hope to leave with that very high. At the end of the day, I want to be remembered as a leader who served Umu Anambra and also groom leaders after the progress of the association. Uniting Anambra state student in common purpose not as tool to be used by politicians. We come for Anambra, We are Anambra.
Have Anambra students started receiving any financial assistance from Anambra State Government? The last time I checked, they have not been receiving bursaries?
Not yet. But we are working towards it.
Is there achievement you can point to since you have been elected?
So far, My team has been able to maintain Accountability and ensure AASSNID is a leading association that promotes the welfarism and cultures of Anambra state students in OAU and beyond. We organised an Essay competition that encouraged conversations around Igbo cultural values, allowing students to participate in a healthy competition while learning. We improved the  online presence of the association.This publicity has lead to different support and provided a leverage for members of the association.
We also organised multiple webinars which helped promote student involve in politics and created a platform for learning. By building and maintaining our relationship with the national body, we were able to garner support from the  Board of Trustee of the Association and improve our affiliation with ASA (Association of Anambra State) worldwide.
AASNID President, OAU Chapter
AASNID President, OAU Chapter
What is your message to members of your Association?
I would like them to know that the Association is for each and every one of us, participation in activities partaining to the association helps encourage oneness and promotes unity. The Association is an extension of the state, for some of us who are new especially in a new environment with new cultures and people, the Association is a base to build and help one ease in and get better both in their academic and socio cultural endeavours.

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