The present leadership of the IFUMSA SRB celebrated their 6 months in service quite recently. In honour of this, MediVoice reached out to the Clerk of the House, Amarachi Godswill-Nwankwo, to share a few words on the activities of the Parliament in the past months. Check out the interview below.
Medivoice: Can we meet you ma?
Amarachi: I’m Amarachi Godswill-Nwankwo, a member of the Tenacious (part 2) class, a second time Honourable and the incumbent clerk of the Ifumsa SRB.
Medivoice: Nice to meet you. What prompted you to run for the position of the clerk?
Amarachi: I ran for the position of Clerk of the IFUMSA SRB because I recognized several areas of improvement within the IFUMSA Parliament, such as inadequate public relations and a lack of engagement with alumni.
I believed that in order to make a meaningful impact and address these issues, I needed to have a higher level of decision-making authority within the SRB.
Since being elected to the role, myself and other amazing Honourables have successfully implemented changes to address these gaps over the past six months some of which is the improved media relations of the House with IFUMSAites to bring IFUMSAites closer to the parliament.
Medivoice: Kindly brief us on your duties as the clerk of the IFUMSA SRB.
Amarachi: My duties as the clerk of the parliament include:
1. Putting out a notice for sittings. Personally, instead of simply issuing written notices for sittings, I have taken the initiative to create and send designs for them.
2. Taking minutes of sittings is also one of the core duties of the clerk
3. Publishing adopted minutes of sittings
4. Keeping a financial record of the SRB
5. Ensuring that correspondence is properly documented for IFUMSAites who wish to access them.
Medivoice: Interesting. How has your stay in the office for the last 6 months been so far, any hardest/challenging moments so far?
Amarachi- My experience in office over the last six months has been both challenging and fulfilling.
As someone who values hard work, I’ve learned that it doesn’t always have to be a struggle. One of the biggest challenges I have faced is resistance to change, as people often struggle to step outside their comfort zones. This has sometimes made it difficult to introduce new initiatives within the parliament. However, working with the media team and alumni relations committee has been incredibly rewarding, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with them.
Medivoice: How has managing the office alongside class activities been so far? (considering the late nights meetings, their duration, and the requirement of the office)
Amarachi: Managing the office alongside my academic responsibilities has been very challenging.
In the past, sometimes due to been unable to meet up with my tasks, instead of being encouraged, I’ve had suggestions from people that I should resign, but I am the type of person who perseveres and sees things through to completion once I have started.
Despite all these, I remain dedicated to my duties and strive to complete every task to the best of my ability.
I am grateful for the support of Hon. Ayomipo and other constituency leaders because they’ve been very supportive. The Speaker and Deputy Speaker have also been immensely helpful during the challenging times.
I also believe that beyond criticizing leaders and parliamentarians IFUMSAites can support them through kind gestures.
Medivoice: Asides from being the clerk, what other positions do you hold/ have your served within IFUMSA in the last 6 months?
Amarachi: I serve as the Chairperson of the SRB Media Committee, and the secretary of the SRB Alumni relations committee. I’m also a member of the IQDC (IFUMSA Quiz and Debate Club)
Medivoice: Are there any misconceptions about the SRB that you’d like to clarify to the general IFUMSAite
Amarachi: The biggest misconception about the SRB that I would like to clarify is that all we do is argue aimlessly and engage in personal attacks. This is simply not true.
As parliamentarians, our primary focus is catering to the needs of IFUMSAites, shaping the future of IFUMSA and driving change through policy-making.
To achieve these things, we actively engage in various deliberations to provide effective solutions to issues that affect IFUMSAites.
While differing opinions may lead to disagreements, these are necessary to ensure that we arrive at the best possible outcome.
We work tirelessly to ensure that IFUMSA runs smoothly and efficiently.
Medivoice: There are rumours about members of the SRB from the junior classes being disrespectful to members of the senior classes in the house during sittings, and that their voices are not being heard enough. What do you have to say about that?
Amarachi: In the House, we should all adopt the notion that there are no junior or senior Honourables, only Honourables.
One of the dynamics of the House is that a 300l student could be a three time Honourable while a 600l student could be serving for the first time. So there are no seniors or juniors, just legislators coming together for a common purpose.
However, respect is a two-way street, and everyone should communicate respectfully. Hierarchy should only come into play outside the House to ensure that everyone’s voices are heard.
In my opinion, junior colleagues are not disrespectful, but there may be room for improvement in their communication style. Senior colleagues should also endeavor to lead by example and respect their junior colleagues.
Medivoice: If given the utmost power within IFUMSA, what are the things you’d change within the SRB.
Amarachi: If I had the utmost power within IFUMSA, I would prioritize 5 things
1. Regular training for honourables on policy making, communication and effective leadership.
2. Developing programs for IFUMSAites that would aid their growth and personal/professional development.
3. Additionally, I would encourage Honourables and IFUMSAites to sponsor change through policy and advocacy, and look into creative ways to reward leadership beyond certificates.
4. Ensuring that the House handles existing bills better. The current attitude of the House towards bills sometimes discourage Honourables from sponsoring them.
5. Creating a relationship with successful policy developers, lawmakers, and leaders inside and outside the country for learning and mentorship opportunities for medics interested in advocacy, legislation, and policy making.
Medivoice: Any final words for Medivoice?
Amarachi: The energy from Medivoice is super awesome! We see and appreciate every single thing you do, and we love you guys. Kudos to all of you!
Medivoice: Thank you Madam Clerk! And thank you for joining us on this space. We wish you the best in your future endeavours.