Interview with Daniel Olunu, the Speaker of the IFUMSA SRB

The present leadership of the IFUMSA SRB celebrated their 6 months in service quite recently. In honour of this, MediVoice reached out to the Honourable Speaker of the House , Daniel Olunu 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, sir?

Mr Speaker: Hello, I am Olunu Daniel of the part 6 class, popularly known as Majordan, and the speaker of our beloved Parliament, the IFUMSA SRB.

MediVoice: Nice to meet you, sir. Could you share what informed your decision to contest for the position of the speaker 6 months ago?

Mr Speaker: Thank you. Funnily enough, the decision was not one that came up 6 months ago. Rather, it is something that I’ve always looked forward to since my first year in the parliament.

Well, the decision came because I realized that the parliament is the most important body in the running of the association. Also, decisions made there affect many of our activities as a body. So as a way of driving impact in our association, I saw myself as capable and fit to contest and also as being able to guide the body for the progress of the association.

MediVoice: Great! If I might play the curiosity card, in what level did you join the parliament?

Speaker: I joined in my part 4, but I was actually thinking of joining in part 3. However, I couldn’t due to some factors beyond my control.

MediVoice: In the last 6 months, how has the progress of the house been like? Could you describe some of the house’s activities compared with previous years.

Well in the past 6 months, the house has actually achieved a lot. We have had 5 sittings – 3 physical sittings and 2 online sittings. The house has constituted almost, if not all, committees as stated by the constitution. It has also passed the executive budget of the Ifumsa-cracy tenure.
In addition, the SRB organized a seminar workshop for the Hultz prize. And the SRB’s media committee have been doing a lot to bring the dealings of the house to the general public.
There has been a lot going on, to be honest. I am not sure I can state everything here. 😅

Well comparing with the previous years, a lot of innovations have been coming up from different honourable members, but we have to take some time if we intend to make very great deliberations before implementation. So yeah, more innovations have come up in the running of the house at this time.

Medivoice: Brilliant! It’s been a busy six months indeed. Moving on, looking at all the plans you had for the house at the start of the parliamentary year, how well will you score your first 6 months in Office?

Mr Speaker: Hehehe, if I am to score myself, I would give myself a 10/10 😅😅😅.
On a more serious note, I think it is a different ball game when you are outside, compared to being inside and doing the job. I would say that I have been putting in the efforts. I have also been learning on the job and I have worked with amazing people who have made the work a lot easier and better for me, especially the Honorable Clerk, Hon. Amarachi. So yeah, I’m making progress and you know, learning, unlearning and relearning.

Medivoice: “…learning, unlearning, and relearning”. That’s key!

There is news that the immediate past president was retrospectively impeached. Why did that happen. Also, do you think an outright impeachment was the right thing for the house to do?

Speaker: Concerning that, although a decision has been made, we are still in the process of everything, it is a delicate and sensitive issue so I would not like to go into full details but best believe that the house is handling it well.

Medivoice: All right. There are also rumours of a lack of mutual respect between members of the junior and senior classes of the SRB, particularly over certain issues. How true is this?

Mr Speaker: One thing I love about the house is how free everyone is to say their minds irrespective of their class. However, everyone is also accorded respect. While there are times when some people overstep bounds, it is not the norm of the day. In addition, I try to ensure decorum in the house and at gatherings.

Medivoice: Great to know this. Can you run us through the committees that have been constituted and how many committees we still have left to constitute?

Mr Speaker: The Audit, Welfare, Disciplinary, Sport, Social, Welfare, Academic e.t.c., all have been constituted. It appears that only the electoral committee is yet to be constituted and that is because of the electoral bill.

Medivoice: What is it with the electoral bill, if I may ask?

Mr Speaker: I’m sure you remember the last election and the brouhaha that came with it. So yeah, to better the process of our election, the house is working on the bill, and we would see how it goes before the next election cycle.

Medivoice: Oh! You just inferred that an amendment of the electoral bill is ongoing, is that right?

Mr Speaker: Well it would look like such. However, the constitution is clear on elections. This is just something to improve the process.

Medivoice: Okay. Well-done sir. Can you share with us some of the challenges you currently face as the Speaker and how you intend to tackle them?

Mr Speaker: Well, a post like this is not one that comes very easily. I wasn’t expecting an easy task too.

Part of the challenges are the long sittings – the house is a place where people express their thoughts and opinions to the fullest. Many times, lots of people digress and prolong issues, and this takes a lot of time.

Another challenge is calling for sittings – finding a way to balance so no class has exams around that time while considering their different time tables.

Also, the house is one place with diverse people and diverse opinions. The speaker must thus find a way to bring balance to things and not be partisan.

I think those are the major challenges. There is also the challenge of balancing the demands of this position with academics, other activities and personal life.

Medivoice: Thank you very much for your time, sir. And thank you for being as succinct as possible.
Do you have any words for IFUMSAites?

Speaker: Thank you very much for this opportunity, I really appreciate it and kudos to Medivoice

Yeah, I would like to encourage IFUMSAites to come around for sittings, because it is open to all members. They should also endeavour to follow its proceedings and how things are done. In addition, I want to implore more IFUMSAites to contribute to the progress of the association all round.

MediVoice: Thank you very much for your time, Mr Daniel Olunu

Mr Speaker: You are very welcome 🤗

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