ADMINISTRATIVE IRRESPONSIBILITY: AN ACCEPTABLE NORMALCY?
A Canadian-British journalist, Cory Efram Doctorow once said, “…abnormal is so common, that they regard it as practically normal.” That exactly explains the case with anything administrative and governance in Nigeria. The leaders or Administrators as the case may be are always in the habit of not regarding their followers. The mutual respect, duties and responsibilities that ought to be between the “Governor” and the “Governed” have literally been killed, they exist no more. The situation has turned to the new world of abnormalities which now prides itself as the normalcy. However, the saddest part of this decadent story is its attendant consequences which breed anarchy, disrespect and lawlessness on the concerned system.
One of such abnormal practices that has taken over as being normal is the issue of communication between the leadership and its followers when there are irregularities or breakdowns in the process of administration. It has become a normal thing that when such abnormal or irregular situations occur, the leaders or the administrators feel no obligation to notify their followers of the situation and what they are doing to salvage the situation. Surprisingly, the followers and the administered no longer feel they have the right to demand an explanation; they regard such situations as normal. But there is a little twist to the followers’ reactions to such irregularities. The reactions can either be silence or nonchalance when the situations seem to be in their favour; or outright aggressiveness and impatience if things are not working out.
Shamefully, University of Ibadan, the premier University that prides itself as the “first and the best” got itself caught in all the mess of such abnormalities outlined above. Last week played host to administrative irresponsibility and followers’ dormancy and rascality. This of course is contrary to preconceived thought that this is a fountain of erudition and intellectuality, where importance is laid on due process. For the past few weeks, the University has been plagued with the usual erratic power supply. The abnormality which reached its crescendo last week crippled almost all intellectual activities on campus. Many students who depend on the kitchenettes’ dead cookers to prepare their “daily bread” could not do so and that indirectly meant low turnout for classes as it was very difficult to learn on empty stomachs. Apart from the stomach infrastructural victims that were greatly affected, the ones that were able to go for classes were elegantly dressed in rumpled clothes. Of course, we are not talking about the frustrations of the final year students that were not able to work on their final year project just because their laptops have run out of power and labs rendered redundant as a result of power outage and unavailability of diesel to fuel the generators. The discomfort experienced by the students reached such a degree that some had to march round the University community in protest last Thursday night. Though, some were quick to condemn the protest as being premature tagging those students as “impatient”.
In the same vein, some students in the faculties of Law, Agriculture and Forestry, Technology, Arts and others complained that most of their lecturers refused to show up for classes last week Thursday. Affected students lamented that while they were ready to receive lectures, their lecturers refused to show up throughout the day without any explanation from the lecturers. Of course, it is a settled fact that there is a relationship that exists between the lecturer and the students. While the students have the responsibility to attend classes, it is the duty of the lecturers to come to lecture theatres to impart knowledge to the students. However, when the lecturers have refused to show up for classes without any excuse, the absence of the communication of that excuse render it inexistent. That is an abnormal situation, it is maladministration!Even Though, many of the lazy students went back to their various hostels in the evening giving little or no reactions to the dereliction of duty.
In the midst of this entire crisis, up till this moment, the University Management has not deemed it fit yet to release any communiqué regarding the state of power supply in the University community. The University Administrators have not deemed it fit to notify the studentpopulace that they are aware of the present irregularity in power supply and to explain whatever measure they are putting in place to rectify the situation. Though, the University management may be working assiduously to put things in order (Which we seriously doubt), the singular fact that the management has made us less important by its own nonchalance is in fact an administrative irresponsibility. At this stage, we need not be surprised at the students’ impatient response to the situation, when Isaac Newton has established a similar theory to the fact that “for every administrative irresponsibility; there’s an equal and opposite aggressive rascality”
In conclusion, it is an implied term in the social contract theory that the leaders and administrators should be responsible to their followers. It is a mere administrative courtesy that the followers should be duly notified and informed of any irregularities going on in the administrative process. The same way it is also required of the followers to be patient and understanding in responding to any administrative lapses. This will undoubtedly go a long way in ensuring that anarchy and lawlessness don’t establish their roots in a system governed by law and order. In view of this, we hereby call for an instant change from the University management’s nonchalant and indifferent way of responding to administrative irregularities like these.