The saying that ‘our destiny is in our hands’ has no meaning when we are not the pilots of our own destiny. So when next someone feeds you that cliché’ quoted on that line of mine, don’t forget to ask the person who the pilot(s) is/are.

The president wants all NUTASAITES to know that great men who built NUTASA were never meant to live forever but their embodiment and sweat shall never wither.

You see, it is easier to zealously outline an agenda for leadership and proudly render a manifesto than sit as a leader and implement an agenda when it is doesn’t favour personally, some of those who fought so hard to put you there with a profit margin underlined in their hearts.

Without wasting anyone’s time, the president would ask that we all read in between the line and make sure to ask any question where confused.

This is a struggle of the Theatre people that are students, this struggle for liberation has to be won, we must learn that as we walk, we can chew gum, because by the time victory is won and we do not have ideas ready and waiting for implementation, then we have made noise and not voiced out because the words I once heard from a BOT NUTAF member read ‘You people are are cultists and money mongers, if we leave you alone, you can never be organized’,

NUTASA, we can prove them wrong, so while we struggle, let us know that this administration is working out the following:

a. Unifying all NUTASA names in different institutions to bear NUTASA with their school branches and arm them with a Referral code which helps them use NUTASA incorporated RC number while sourcing for funds for their private association projects.

b. A general NUTASA ID card and pass for all activities of the association.

c. A website that helps make it easier for NUTASAITES to access other associations without having to leave their institution. Researchers can relate.

d. A proper constitution review

e. Incorporate this great association into CAC.

f. Get a venue, date and proper theme for our festival before the 2nd week of march.

g. Understand where NUTASA can play a part in helping schools that can’t make it to the festival venue.

h. Introduce sculpted award into our festival.

i. Introduce VAJ (Video Assistant Judge) for the events of our festival.

j. Flagoff events of our festival, where students majoring in some fields will be selected to practice what they’ve learnt under the supervision of professionals.

As you read on, remember that a big work awaits us all, let us do well in our own capacity to be up and doing whenever we are called upon to give life to any of these developing idea through our chapter president.

To answer and address the general population of NUTASA, since the news about the attempt to physically usurp the office of the National President through an un-constitutionalized impeachment process, here are answers that can lead us all to the better knowledge of what is going on.

Those who remember the promises on the early hours of June 7th, where the president promised us all a NUTASA & NUTAF for the students, the president wants us to know now that there are people amongst us who cannot sit back and let the president direct the affairs of this association to the best of his ability.

These people are students of theatre and performing arts in different schools registered under NUTASA, lecturer/professors as well as EXNUTASAITES and Theatre Practitioners.

Together, we should now understood for ourselves through connection of dots and critical thinking that these people make up an incorporated body of people who have served and does not see a need to allow others serve better than them, in my opinion, I, N. Ben Ogbonna confidently call them The Gerontocratic Party.

Follow me:

1. Schools (Benue State University, Lagos State University and University of Nigeria Nssukka) started sending in their letters to host NUTAF since 6th December, 2018, when I informed the BOT chairman via text, he promised to communicate to the BOT chair and that is it, meanwhile efforts were made to make sure that the school managements were aware of their bidding before letting the executive know about this so as to make sure we do not proceed in error and also we are supposed to know their readiness to host the inspection team from NUTASA. The strike action hugely disturbed these moves.

While all these lingered, I waited for the BOT chairman’s response, but I woke up one morning to the BOT chairman’s message, it was a reply, a letter written with a letterhead of National Theatre, written to BOT NUTAF through NANTAP. My major intuitive question was ‘did BOT NUTAF request through NANTAP to take the festival to National Theatre or what?

I simply as well as asked, what is the stance of NUTASA on the letter? All I wanted to know was NUTASA’s involvement in the nitty-gritty of the preparation of our own festival and the answer was not forthcoming.

I was only directed by the BOT chairman to see the constitution, which I did and got more confused but had to stay away from asking further questioning or make arguments for I trust that when stronger preparations begin, NUTASA will know who the host of their festival will be. I later received another letter from my Secretary General who said he got it from the BOT chairman and is going to post it on the group in less than an hour minding whether I ask him to do so or not. The letter is a confirmation that NUTASA has no say in anything.

Please let nobody come and justify such letter by saying that the sender wants to deal with a registered association because that will bring us to the question of who went to register a festival over an association that owns it.

So, it is not false, NANTAP wants to host our festival without our involvement.

2. People have been moving around deceiving others with the opinions that the President of NUTASA is fighting with the BOT NUTAF with plans to hijack the association to his personal benefits, and that the resultant effect is another stop of the festival and the association.

But I am sure that in my capacity as president, I have tried to balance grounds with these BOT members but I want to mention now that amidst failed attempts, I got to understand through their representative that the BOT perceive our festival as a big meat that NUTASA cannot be allowed to have alone. #evidencechoke.

Now, how does a reasonable president who has a mind of his own and the goodwill of his people at heart trust these people? I have tried to let them know as well that I am here for a balanced interest of all and I want us all to work together but it seems they want something else.

I even went to the Federal University Oye-Ekiti on the 31st of October, 2018 during the conference of the united body of all our lecturers/professors/doctors (Society of Nigerian Theatre Artists), to plead with our fathers to intervene and help us reach a common ground with the BOT NUTAF so that students can have a great association where the interest of all students are prior and a festival where we practice what is taught in our classrooms.

I made them understand that such can be possible only when the students are the pilots of their own affairs, I also pleaded that we can as well be helped as we continue. But BOT NUTAF gave us a shocker that killed impression that SONTA is our primary supervising body, we gave power as members of SONTA to help us but they have seized it and made themselves the law of NUTASA and NUTAF.

Today we are looking at a set of people who has told us that they cannot be dissolved nor replaced unless they run mad or die, these affirmation was made made along the line of: ‘NUTAF BOT are BOT for life’, they added that even if there is a strong reason to replace any of them, that they would sort it out and do so themselves, please tell me NUTASA & the world, is this not GERONTOCRACY?

Let NUTASAITES and the world not forget that the power to decide our fate lies in our hands as NUTASA, we the people have the power to overturn this tide to our benefits and that of thespians unborn, it is in the hands of the people to change, replace and decide who leads them.

3. Some made comments about people not attending meetings and as well following constitutional provisions for hosting NUTAF, well, that people didn’t attend meetings and resolve that they agree to all decision made is a sign of respect done in the best interest of all not a few.

Attendees of a meeting can then decide to make their contributions useless when they proceed such meeting in error and intend to pull others back due to their selfish desires. I’d also want to remind us that the UNIABUJA meeting started with an opening prayer and ended without anyone knowing it, what a meeting? As for the constitutional provisions for hosting the festival, the first rule says that only duly registered associations under NUTASA can bid, start from there please.

4. Take this or save it for future regrets, whoever tells you that NANTAP is partnering with NUTASA to host NUTAF is part of the conspiracy to sell out NUTASA because the number one student of the Nigerian Universities Theatre Arts Students’ Association is being notified about NANTAP and National Theatre issues than being involved. These people knows that LASU authorities have been called and they affirm that they can’t afford to host.

5. On the attempted impeachment, it is unconstitutional and filled with un-investigated facts, starting from the impeachment document to the people who voted in favour of the impeachment, to their deaf ear at the tears of congressman Okoi Eteng Ikpi representing the president NUTASA-UNIPORT chapter, to the ignored advice of the NUTASA-ABU ZARIA president to look before we leap.

During the process, my opponent during the election who is now the president of NUTASA-ABU ZARIA chapter, was being tipped to succeed me after the impeachment, but he remained adamant and kept pointing them to the constitution which they always gave themselves a good reason not to use.

At that juncture, I submitted that ABU ZARIA thespians are proper and moral people for their president and the National Financial Secretary (Comr. Babalola Mathew O) of the same institution refused to be compromised alongside Benue State University, and University of Port Harcourt.

These people kept their hands up for the president when NSUK, LAFIA, UNIABUJA, AAU, NUTASA SEC GEN from AAU (Comr. Osazee) and the Ex-president Comr. Emmanuel Oshiokai O aka Agbara stood their hands up against the president. There are evidence to prove the burning spite in their hearts for the president and the bond between these people who have decided to work with an un-investigated, unsigned but resolved impeachment document confirming that 9th February, 2019 is the impeachment date of the NUTASA PRESIDENT, Comr. N. Ben Ogbonna.

When ABU ZARIA’s warning weren’t heeded, AAU president moved the motion.

I’ve decided to enlighten not the BOT NUTAF fully on this but the congress. The UNIABUJA meeting was a planned trap. Let them feel free and bring their indictments here and for once give the congress the chance to decide.

In NUTASA today, poor leadership mindset and dirty politics have clouded the reason why the code of love binds us all, gerontocracy has been spread over democracy as many officers are working so hard to merit from a dangling carrot up somewhere, which by eating, gives them a position to still be part of NUTASA decision making process even after they die. If the leadership of NUTASA is to serve, you do your part and handover, not do your part and want to keep doing your part even when you have done so beyond satisfaction. These people don’t know when to leave the stage.

When the festival was ran by students, they know where their shoes hurt and the likes of Bob-Manuel Udokwu, Ahmed Yerima, Sam Ukala, Esiaba Irobi and many others were discovered, today, with the technologies of the modern world, where is that same festival taking us?

Finally, without mincing words, NUTASA Executives are ceremonial and puppet executives, if you even understand what BOT means, you tearfully ask who did this to us?

Know it today that:

 “A board of trustees is an appointed or elected group of individuals that has overall responsibility for the management of an organization. The board of trustees is typically the governing body of an organization and seeks to ensure the best interest of stakeholders in all types of management decisions”.

Having seen this, think critically with an ability to connect and reach a better NUTASA and ask your questions.

We call out to all truthful EXNUTASAITES, truthful members of SONTA, lovers of the beautiful art and all celebrities groomed from this sphere of the art (RICHARD MOFE DAMIJO, CHARLES INOJIE, RITA DOMINIC, NORBERT YOUNG, SAM DEDE, etc.) that are in the performing arts industry in Nigeria to please help this association tell the NUTAF BOT that STUDENTS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO RUN THEIR ASSOCIATION AND THEIR FESTIVAL IN ALL RAMIFICATIONS IN OTHER TO DEVELOP THEMSELVES AND THE ART PROPERLY.

I, Comr. N. Ben Ogbonna, stand with the unflinching decision as the National President, that no matter how much anyone wish to coin the truth and lock it up with the law in the name of incorporation, NUTASA is an association of students, NUTAF is the property of NUTASA, no stakeholders, no nothing, it is a place where finished goods are truthfully showcased without dilution and awarded without sentiments.

Make una give us space, we go call una when we need una.

 BOT NUTAF is not the barracks, NUTASA is.

Greedy and hungry executives are not the benefactors, the CONGRESS is.

  •  #evidencechoke!
  • #istandagainstinjusticedonetostudents
  • #thespianlivesmatter
  • #nutaf=universities God bless us all

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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