Electioneering campaigns are over, elections have been held and the results are known. Winners are joyous, losers are shaking hands. Thank God we are not experiencing the acrimony that has become an after-election pattern in Nigeria. A situation where there is always pandemonium and chaos whatsoever.

Two sets of people have evolved: 'the VANQUISHED and the VANQUISHERS'. To the VANQUISHED, though you lost the election, you're not losers. Losing the election doesn't mean you are not qualified for that post, you might even be the round peg which fits for the hole. Believe you me, a great courage you've surmounted for even stepping and standing out when a lot of people who could also make changes sat back blended in. I salute you for your conviction.

I quite understand how you feel now; you feel rejected, repressed and jilted. Your feelings are valid. It takes something out of one when he/she loses an election, but don't let those feelings continue to guide your actions or the way you view yourself. Just because you weren't elected doesn't change the significance of your heart, your desires, your passions, your abilities, your skills, your intentions, or your dreams. It merely changed your plans.

I can feel your pains of losing the election with all you put in place for your victory to be ensured. You printed posters and distributed flyers; your costly digital banners were firmly tied at strategic areas. You awash everywhere with your posters, fliers, banners. You painted the unpainted fore-walls of our hinterland with white paints. You rolled out drums, danced round the school under the scorching and baking sun; rented public address system and you moved from UNDER G to OKE-AAFIN, to YOACO and then finalized your mass publicity at ADENIKE; you did that for days.

You bought T-Shirts, Round Neck and V-Neck Shirts, inscribed your name on its all, and distributed it for your supporters to wear throughout the days of your campaign. You bought assorted drinks for groups claimed to be Stakeholders. Alata Supermarket, Tito Gate, 4D, Amazing, and even Satisfiers became a home of visiting for you, friends and supporters, as you're being pestered daily by them to quell their thirst for dishes their taste buds craves for.

You feel all you've spent during campaigns was to no avail- your time, energy and resources. Heck NO! You put your hat in the ring, you gave it your best shot, and you did something that wasn't easy. All of that, in and of itself, is a huge victory. Think of all you've learnt, think of all you've done to stretch yourself. You may not have met your goal, but you've taken more steps on the path to growth.

Though I haven't lost an election as such, but I know how it feels for someone to lose an election. It hurt, it makes one feel out of sync and uncertain. It is an emotional rollercoaster ride; but I want you to realize that everyone who desires to be in an elected position will lose out to someone else at some point. I know, losing an election is a difficult experience, but it is one that we can definitely learn from and bounce back from. I think it takes time to get over it, but after a while, it's easier to focus on the learning part and not the losing part.

Perhaps, you have the mind's eye that losing the election is the dead end to the plans you have for LADOKITES, the Changes and Differences you wish and want to make, it's high time you had a paradigm shift. Brethren and Sistren, you can still work for those things you planned for LADOKITES should in case you were voted in. You can still make things happen!

If you're passionate and confident enough to run a campaign on the plans, then you are the one we still need to make these things happen. You'll just be working at it from a different angle. You don't really need to be in a position/office in order to make a difference; some of the best leaders in the world don't hold any type of formal position, yet they are very influential. I hope you are able to find a new plan and a new path for the next season of your journey. Wishing you all the best!

To the VICTORS, the VANQUISHERS, it feels good to win an election, not even one that was keenly contested like the just concluded Students' Union Government Election. I therefore use this medium to offer my warm and heartfelt congratulations to you newly elected SUG Excos. Congratulations once again!

There is no gainsaying that you all campaigned on solid promises. Well aware, it has become the vogue of Nigerian politicians to promise all sorts of good things for the 'common men' only to ride on their back to power and fend for themselves. This is one thing that Student politicians have inherited from our political leaders. I've used some sessions on this campus, but a reflection into the past Students' Union Leaders on this campus leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

In fairness to them, they all had their constraints but methinks one of the qualities of a good leader is foresight to envisage these constraints and plan to surmount them. It is in this light that I want you present Student Union Executives to tackle our problems with a realistic approach. I need not mention our problems, I guess you know it all; or would you have campaigned to tackle the problems you know not about?

I am hoping that you would all do and fulfill your promises made during electioneering campaigns, letting you know that LADOKITES have lots of hope in you all. Your election itself shows how much the people love and trust you. You had worked hard for this and they appreciated it.

More importantly, one thing is that you all should do softly with our MONEY. Nobody asked some of you to spend yourselves dry during campaigns. And, should in case, after promising Us to make the University a paradise for Us, you now use your office to enrich your pockets by fraudulent means; you terrorize on bluff Us and, if on the whole, you fail to draw respect for the UNION, you have no right to complain if you do not get either the Students cooperation or that of the Management.

I therefore enjoin you newly elected Excos to revive, revitalize and rebrand our hitherto castrated Union. I wish you a successful tenure and hope that your hard work brings you higher responsibilities and position in your endeavours in life. Shalom!!!

Oluwatomilola Boyinde, TOMI'NIGERIA, PRO, Union of Campus Journalists, & All-Nigeria United Nations Students and Youth Association, LAUTECH. [email protected], @TomiNigeria, 08032434218, 2AF2EB9D.

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Articles by Oluwatomilola Boyinde