22nd February 2019|08:04am






Good morning NUTASA,

It is with great concern for this great association, respect for our fathers and regard for our friends alike that I, Comrade Benjamin N. Ogbonna, National President of the Nigerian Universities Theatre Arts Students’ Association, wish to make this release, thereby taking down the press release made on the 14th February 2019 and the pre-reply in response to BOT NUTAF statement.

I own up to my words as placed on the statement from the BOT statement, those words may be mine but are incomplete, a deeper look into the chat if made available will show that I was NOT impeached by the provisions of our constitution, it will show us that I was not properly petitioned, never duly investigated by a team selected by the congress, nor tried and then impeached if found guilty by the congress. But to be plain, this press release is not about who is right or wrong, but a clarion call for us all to use the evidence of the code of love within us to once more come together and chart a way forward.

For a few days now, we, as a house, have been resolving issues amongst us and praise be to God, we have made some good headways in getting few solutions and are eager and ready to move forward. I believe in each and every Theatre Arts student out there nationwide and I know that if given the chance, they will be better than the best.

As I make this release this day, I speak for all NUTASAITES and plead with us to stand up and join the cause for a peaceful and harmonious way forward that posterity can remember and be proud. The plans of this administration is not a one man thing, I depend on the strength, support and understanding of all NUTASAITES to be able to achieve these goals, we ask for the support of our fathers in different spheres of the art to help us land this ship safely and better for the next and future generations to come.

NUTASA is a field where student leaders learn leadership and followers learn individual civic responsibilities. NUTAF is a field where students explore the beauty in our academic theories, all we ask humbly, is to be allowed to do so in all ramification and be guided through it by our fathers who has the mandate to do so. To the BOT NUTAF, who has always been helpful in their capacity, please I humbly plead that you understand that this administration or myself is not trying to fight or replace your position as BOT (advisory body), contrary to the rumors of what people are saying to this regard. What this administration has always had in store and have been bent on achieving is to provide balanced and profitable avenue for the students, which will help them beyond now. I believe in the fact that the BOT NUTAF has elders and must be respected, if at any point in these releases, my utterances were perceived to have smeared the image of the BOT or instigated the congress against the BOT, I plead that they should not be perceived as such but as a sign of the fact that we were in a time of weakness as leaders and followers, and needed a guided balance in the way we handled power, truth and politics.

I humbly plead that BOT NUTAF should please disregard any form of misconception spotted on both releases which I take down this day, in the light of these events which have unfolded recently. I have learnt better and I believe that when a kid makes mistakes, the father always corrects him/her. As I take down these releases officially, we will very much appreciate BOT NUTAF if they still see the best reasons to standby and guide us through.

To all my fellow NUTASAITES, NUTASA National Executives, EXNUTASAITES, NANTAP, SONTA, this is about learning and we need coaching, drastic conclusions without tactical information is not supposed to be anyway close in our pull of ideas. We collectively plead that whoever my release insulted should please forgive and forget for the sake of the love that binds us all.

To all the executives, this should be a learning edge for all of us, we should please learn from these few days just as I have learnt that we can be slow to act when not clear on anything but fast to make good decisions when we are certain we are on the right path, as leaders we should rub minds and carry ourselves along, and considerably listen not hear.

NUTASA now understand the love that binds us all better than before, so, with one voice, we collectively call on SONTA, NANTAP and NUTAF BOT to please not feel disappointed in our falls and flaws on this path of success. We should resolve to reach out to more beauty of this very art and do away with approaching our mistakes with yellow journalism and political dirtiness. We should add to our agenda for NUTAF2019, a programme on leadership so as to teach our successors how not to repeat the mistakes we have made in our generation.

In a bid to chart a way forward as our festival is fast approaching, I plead that in the spirit of moving forward, let NUTASA, SONTA, NANTAP and NUTAF BOT consider these items outlined below so that with one heart we can move on, they have been part of the things causing divide amongst us:

1. That a copy of the very allegations leveled against me be dropped on the executives group chat, as I do not have a copy of the alleged 13 charges, giving the fact that the document was taken from me. I have always been ready to respond carefully to NUTASA and this cannot be an exception.

2. That we give provisional hosting rights to the universities who have shown interest long before now to host the festival this year (Benue State University and University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Lagos State University), so, according to our constitution, we can come up with best suggestions for NUTAF BOT to approve and endorse as we continue on a fast pace toward a way of finalizing issues with venue for NUTAF2019.

We hope to be peaceful with our fathers and humbly ask that these few items be considered for us all to move on to greater heights with better resolutions and a great way forward for now and the future.

‘If we do not make it to the wall, we are no heroes’.

Help us, guide us, let us do it again and again and get better. May the sweat of our founding fathers never be in vain. Amen!

No one can say, no one can tell,

the kind of love that binds us,

the Theatre arts people are great people,

and the love that binds us stands,

The code of love,

that binds us spirit, soul and body,

we have become one,

and so shall it be forever.

God bless NUTASA







Rebecca Maulome Padonu is an enthusiastic writer with a soft spot for factions. A RubyWrites 2016 finalist. She has completed several freelance writing projects, including BBC Media Action’s Drama series, Story Story (series 32 & 33).

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