MediVoice: Can you introduce yourself to us?
Candidate: I’m Lawrence Ebenezar, a part 4 medical student of Obafemi Awolowo University.
Medivoice: What are three words you’d use to describe yourself and why?
Candidate: A thinker, an observer and a renegade.
For a thinker. Of course, everyone is a thinker, but I would love to think I do it a little more, especially when it comes to asking questions about the root of a problem and what the possible solutions are
Observer. The word observer as you’ve guessed goes with the first word, thinker. I’ve always been a good observer and I would say it’s probably what I do the most.
Renegade. For this one, well I don’t mean it like it really sounds. What I mean by it is more like one that has never kept to the norm of things. This is linked to the first two words in that I have always asked questions about the norm. Like why do people consider this to be normal? Why is this normal for these people?
MediVoice: The three words are actually intertwined in a sense. You love to do things outside the normal and to achieve that, you actually have to be a thinker. So, what are your five core values?
Candidate: My five core values are: Common human respect, Empathy, Commitment, Acceptance and Appreciation.
MediVoice: Nice one. Have you had any prior leadership experience within or outside IFUMSA?
I’ve was the head of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights including HIV and AIDS SCORA, last year. I have been the Assistant General Secretary of Medivoice and also its General secretary. I have also been an SRB member for one parliamentary year.
MediVoice: Seems you love serving as a General Secretary (laughs). How has being in those positions made you prepared for the office you are running for?
Candidate: Being in those positions made me realise how difficult humans can be and how to deal with them better. They also taught me the importance of, responsibility, commitment and dedication.
MediVoice: Why did you decide to run for the General Secretary and not something else?
Candidate: I remember walking to the Secretariat for the first time and realising that there is a position like The General Secretary and at that moment, I knew this is definitely what I wanted to do. So the answer to why I decided to run is because I believe it’s something only I can do at this point in time.
MediVoice: Wow. So much confidence and assurance. You think you are fit for this post at this time, hmmm. What specific qualities do you possess that gives you so much assurance that you are the only one fit for the post?
Candidate: I would begin by saying that the position of a general secretary requires one who is first and foremost good at organisation and keeping records. All other things required for the office are either under these two qualities or secondary to them. And if there is one thing I know about myself is that I excel in both aspects.
MediVoice: I see. What do you think is required for the post you are running for, responsibility wise?
Candidate: As I answered in my previous answer the post requires good organization qualities, and a good ability to take and keep records. One must possess these two qualities as well as the willingness to work, listen and keep an open mind. On responsibility, one must be able to keep records of every IFUMSA activity, support the president, make sure the Secretariat is well maintained by enacting rules towards its use, taking attendance and minutes during meetings of the executive council, and making sure the association is registered with the appropriate authorities.
MediVoice: You know your anticipated job quite well, that’s fair. So, can you enlighten us more on your agenda?
Candidate: If there is one thing the lockdown has taught everyone is that school isn’t everything. I plan to work with the next IFUMSA President to organize:
A skill acquisition program that gives ifumsites a chance to make money while studying. We don’t have to look too far to invite people with these skills to teach us. We simply invite our own in IFUMSA. We have a lot of talented people already, we can simply invite them to take up teaching positions and impact the lives of as many ifumsites as possible.
An essay competition that will benefit ifumsites: I plan on collaborating with top freelancers on campus to organize an essay competition that will not only offer monetary prizes for the top two winners but also offer them a chance to learn in person from the best freelancers in OAU.
A much-improved Secretariat to rival the best on campus: the last two General Secretaries have done an outstanding job of getting the Secretariat to how it is today, but why should we stop there? I plan to maintain the structures in the Secretariat and also make two or more improvements as much as funding will allow.
LAN Cable Project: While the current administration made exertions toward getting the INTECU LAN working, their efforts were met with the exorbitant cost of getting a long wire sourced from the central College Source at the Department of Community Health. I plan to propose this LAN Cable Project with whoever becomes the next President and work towards achieving this. The central Cable will be connected to a Hub of 8 or 16 which ifumsites can connect to their PCs directly. This is an overreaching Project, but it’s achievable.
MediVoice: Why did you choose your tagline?
Candidate: My tagline, “IFUMSA Workman” is simply to remind people of what my goals are, and that I do not plan to sleep on the job.
MediVoice: In your own words, what is leadership?
Candidate: Leadership is the action of leading a group of people, well that is the dictionary definition. But my definition of leadership or in the context leader is someone who people want to give their all for. Someone who people are willing to follow, not just for the sake of the office but for who he/she is.
MediVoice: Well said. Why should we vote you for General Secretary?
Candidate: I think people should vote for me because all my plans are meant to take the next administration to the next level. The current administration has done admirably well. So I’ve been asking myself what can I do? What can the new administration do to take IFUMSA higher? My plans in my agenda should provide an answer to this. And of course, it all depends on the goals and plans of the incoming president, but I’m sure even he has plans that I’m sure will move the association forward.
MediVoice: Okay. Do you think you stand a chance at the polls?
Candidate: Yes, I think I stand a chance. And not because I’m running unopposed of course. Yes, my opponent stepped down so you may ask me if I would have campaigned differently if I knew all along that I would be going unopposed? The answer is no. I wouldn’t have campaigned differently. The goal is always to give my all and that will always be my goal irrespective of whether I have an opponent or not.
MediVoice: So far so good, you have done well in enlightening us on your agenda and what you have to offer us if you win. Wishing you the best of luck at the polls. Thanks for honouring the interview.