ALUTA GOSPEL ACCORDING TO COMRADE PATRICK AFUBERA : THE ALUTA REPUBLIC VOL.1
Today we shall be discussing the subject, the ALUTA Republic. What is an ALUTA Republic? The term ALUTA Republic refers to a territory under the command and control of an effective Student Union Government (SUG). For instance, when we say, ALUTA Republic of Nnamdi Azikiwe, we mean the entire territory of the Nnamdi azikiwe Universiry campus under the command and control of the Student Union Government, and where the pronouncements and policies of the Student Union Government can be effectively implementable. During my time as President of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Student Union, precisely in 1999, I declared the entire Unizik temporary site spanning the area from Unizik junction to the Y-junction in Okpuno and the Ifite/Amansea area predominantly occupied by students as our ALUTA Republic, and to that extent, every of our policies, including the implementation of Commodities’ price control, Rent control etc were implemented therein. In the same vein, my government ensured that no Police could enter anywhere within the ALUTA Republic of Unizik to arrest anyone, student or not, without first reporting to the SUG President who is the Chief Security Officer of the Students’ Union.
Like I posited above, in an ALUTA Republic, there is Territorial Integrity, and it is within this Territory that the Pronouncements of the leadership will be enforced. Lastly, information about what happens in an ALUTA Republic is managed by the government of the Republic, in other words, what happens in an ALUTA Republic stays in the Republic. Let me throw a little more light on territorial integrity and enforcement of pronouncements with specific examples:
1. Territorial Integrity:
For an institution that has a clearly set out perimeter, which constitutes the territory of the Institution, the Student Union Government of such institution enjoys a higher level of territorial integrity. For instance, if you visit the University of Calabar, while approaching the Students’ union Building, there is a Signage on the building that welcomes you to the ‘Republic of Malabor’. Inside the ‘Republic of Malabor’ there are economic activities going on, there are Canteens/Buca, Shops, Business centers and other Business outfits, all of which pay some taxes to the Student Union for operating within their territory. The Student Union cannot go to people who operate shops in other markets in Calabar to demand taxes. Sometimes, a visionary leadership of a Student Union can consciously make effort to enlarge the territory of the Student Union. For instance, in January 2000, during my time as President of UNIZIK Students’ Union, my government at an Exco meeting resolved to increase the Union’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) by taxing the business operators of shops outside the gates of the University permanent site at Ifite – Amansea area.
2. Enforcement of Pronouncements:
When there is a clearly defined territory for a student union called an ALUTA Republic, it is easy to enforce the pronouncements of the Student Union government. For instance, when the student union of UNIZIK, under my watch in 1999, started the implementation of commodities’ price control, it was easy to implement because those who do not want to comply are easily identified and dealt with using the Union’s ALUTA Squad. A few days ago, in the light of the scarcity of the new naira notes, POS operators increased their charges astronomically, and I am happy to report that I saw a publication containing a pronouncement from the office of the SUG President of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in which he put the charges approved by the Student Union and warned that any POS operator that refuses to comply should take his or her business elsewhere. This is a clear example of enforcement of Pronouncement in an ALUTA Republic.
3. What happens in an ALUTA Republic stays in the Republic:
Whatever happens in an ALUTA Republic stays in the Republic. This is because the leadership of the student union, apart from having the apparatus of command and control, also have the instruments of power to control the spread of information about what happens in the Republic, being a closed circuit. Anything to the contrary will incur the wrath of the union, and I tell you sincerely, the union’s wrath are always very bitter pill.
Comrade Igwe Patrick Afubera writes from Abuja.