Good afternoon sir, can we meet you?
IC Asekun: My name is Asekun Ajibola, a 600 level Veterinary Medicine student. I am the Inner Circle Star, and it’s a sort of being the president also, but we don’t have the president, we just have the Star and the Starlight.
What is the Inner Circle all about?
IC Asekun: Inner Circle of Friends, as the name implies, is a gathering of friends who have like minds and share the same ideals, with similar characteristics. We are a non-political, non-ethnic, non-religious gathering; brothers from different mothers, who have the same characteristics. If you see an Inner Circle of Friends member, we call ourselves IC, you will see in him certain characteristics that would be evident in other members.
What are these characteristics?
IC Asekun: Uhm… Basically, we are gentlemen, who are guided by our tenets, which are; honesty, modesty and punctuality. Every member of the Circle is always modest, honest, and well, we are punctual also. We are friends of great discipline, but the main thing about the circle is that we are friends, and we value our friendship, we value loyalty, you can never hear about an IC misbehaving; we don’t air our dirty linen, we are all friends, and we try to make each and every one better.
It seems the Circle is not well-known, why is that?
IC Asekun: Like I said, it still follows the same ethos; we don’t publicize ourselves, we are just a select gathering, we have few members, because the higher the number, the less likely it would be to maintain mutual and cordial friendships, and also, one of the reasons is because we do not put out calls for prospective members. It is the parent-body members, that is undergraduate members of the Circle, identify and refer individuals they think portray the Circle’s ideals and would make a good IC. Such person be approached and told about the circle, and if he agrees, he would go through the admission process, and if he’s lucky, he’d get admitted. This is one of the reasons why people don’t really know us, and we are sixty years, like, it’s a very big deal, it’s because we are just a nucleus; a small gathering of friends. If we start to advertise and the Circle is open to all, it would in a way tarnish our core beliefs; honesty, modesty and punctuality. But, I think a few people know about the Circle, we just don’t advertise ourselves, we are all friends, very good friends.
Do you have female members?
IC Asekun: No, we don’t.
IC Asekun: Hmmm… well, it is the tradition, and it has been since 1958, like okay, let’s have a corps of guys who share the same beliefs. In a way, we have female members, because the wife or a very serious girlfriend of an IC enjoys the same level of respect and relationship an IC enjoys from his fellow ICs. But, as an undergraduate female student, you cannot join the Circle. It’s just our tradition, the way it has been.
The Circle was founded by who?
IC Asekun: Well… like I said, it was founded in 1958, when a group of friends discovered they were always doing everything together; going out together, attend functions together, and so on. They just thought they should make something out of their friendship, so they created the Circle. There were many organisations and clubs then; The Dancing Club, Music Club, and Sigma, but they saw that the key ingredient missing in all these clubs was friendship. People would just come when there was a meeting, if it was dance, they would dance, if it was music, they would do that, and after that, they didn’t really walk together; they were not really friends, so these friends decided to bring this novel thing into UI, and it has been that way since 1958.
The essay contest flyers seem to have reached everywhere. Can you shed more light?
IC Asekun: Well… It is an essay competition open to every UIte, as part of our 60th anniversary celebrations. The celebrations would last for a week, but most of the programmes are for ICs. The ones for the public are the essay contest, and the public lecture, which we encourage all UItes to attend. The winners of the essay contest would be announced and honoured at the public lecture. There is also a leadership and entrepreneurship training that is open to interested individuals. The broadcast has been circulating, but there are limited slots. Interested individuals would need to forward the reasons why they want to attend to an email, and the chosen ones would be contacted.
Is there any other detail you would love to make known to people?
IC Asekun: Well… it’s mostly about the essay and the leadership training. Also, the public lecture is open to everyone, and it will come up on the 2nd of November, at Trenchard Hall. The time is 11 a.m. The guest speaker is Chief (Dr). John Odigie-Oyegun, ex-Edo State Governor and former APC National Chairman. It is an opportunity for UItes to get to listen to experienced leaders, get involved in the goings-on in the country and know the way forward, as the topic, Nigeria’s Political System and the Educated Youth: Yesterday, Today and the Future, rightly states.
Thank you for having this interview with us.
IC Asekun: Thank you very much for having me too.