By Bukola Hameed
The Nigerian Universities Education Students’ Association (NUESA), EACOED/EKSU chapter election conducted on Friday 31st March, 2023 has been decried by the ‘robbed’ candidates to be fraught with irregularities, misconducts and pure shell game.
This was made known in a petition written by Comrade Oladosu Rofiat and Comrade Afolabi Faisol who contested for the posts of Treasurer and Sport Director respectively, and felt ‘robbed’.
The duo alleged the election was not free from various malpractices ranging from outrageous votes, intimidation, ballot paper theft and distasteful level of compromise on the part of electoral body chairman, Dr. Wole Akinlabi, the DSA.
They wonder how would aspirants who “lost” four Faculties be declared winners based on the votes of only one faculty, stating that justice must be served; that pending the determination of this case, Comrade Olanrewaju Toyosi and Comrade Hamzat Azeez O. must not be recognized as the winners of the two posts and as such they must not be sworn in; the electoral committee be mandated to make available the data of students of the faculty of Voc. and Tech.
“It is quite unfortunate that the election that was touted to be credible, free and fair was fraught with irregularities, misconducts and electoral malpractices of various sorts that are unbecoming of a union as budding as NUESA”, the petition read.
The requisition directed to the acting provost, Dr Oyewo N. A, was also sent to Divisional Police Officer, Ojongbodu, Director, Directorate of Degree and Sandwich Programmes, Dean Students Affairs and Deans of Schools for honest redress as, the concerned candidates ‘are not ready to give recourse to violence”.
The petition reads:
2023 NUESA ELECTION: THERE IS MORE TO IT THAN MEETS THE EYES.
RECALL that on 31st day of March, the Nigerian Universities Education Students’ Association (NUESA), EACOED/EKSU, had its first election. As a prelude to the election, memoranda of different categories were issued and the modes of obtaining the form, qualification, the modus operandi as well as the requirements were set forth.
Having satisfied the requirements, Comrade Oladosu Rofiat and Comrade Afolabi Faisol, like other candidates, decided to throw their hats into the ring as Treasurer and Sport Director of the said union respectively in the hope that the election would be fair and square. It is quite unfortunate that the election that was touted to be credible, free and fair was fraught with irregularities, misconducts and electoral malpractices of various sorts that are unbecoming of a union as budding as NUESA.
To begin with, NUESA is home to five different faculties, to wit, faculty of Science, faculty of Education, faculty of Art and Social sciences, faculty of Languages and faculty of VOC and TECH and from inception, faculty of Science and faculty of Art and Social Sciences always have the highest number of students. One will now begin to wonder as to why VOC and TECH had nine hundred (900) ballot papers while the most populous faculties like faculty of Science and faculty of Art and Social sciences and other faculties would have five hundred (500) ballot papers each.
Apart from the fact that faculty of VOC and TECH had access to excessive ballot paper, we had it on good authority that all 300level students of Agricultural Education, Business Education and Technical Education are hitherto on students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) which commenced on Monday, 27th of February 2023 as coordinated by Engineer Kayode Oyedoja. The copy of which is attached to this letter. It therefore follows that all the 300level of the mentioned departments that constitute faculty of VOC and TECH were not expected to participate in the said election. How they came about this outrageous votes is a question begging for an answer.
As if that was not enough, our agents who were assigned to monitor and have an oversight of the election at the faculty of VOC AND TEC were prevented from gaining entry into the hall where the election took place and they were threatened into leaving the premises. This seriously casts doubt on the credibility of the election.
The conduct of Dr. Wole Akinlabi, the Dean Students Affairs who also doubled as the electoral chairman, left a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth. On that very day, he was busy collecting ballot papers from one faculty to the other. From faculty of languages, we had it on good authority that he collected 100 ballot papers from faculty of Languages, 200 ballot papers from faculty of Education and 100 from faculty of Science before he was later reported to have returned those ballot papers he collected from faculty of Science. He was not allowed to have access to any paper ballot from faculty of Art and Social sciences and this was owing to the stiff resistance they put up against him. Some set of people were caught marking some ballot papers at a special class which the witness was immediately chased out of the school. It is our utmost joy if he can clear the air on this.
It is quite worrisome and unbelievable that the duo of Comrade Olanrewaju Toyosi and Comrade Hamzat Azeez O. were declared the winners as a result of the votes they allegedly got from one faculty out of five faculties. From the result collated, the duo allegedly won one faculty and as such they do not have the geographical widespread to be declared the winners. We heavily rely on section 134 subsection 1 paragraph (b) and section 179 subsection 1 paragraph (b) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria(1999 as amended) which explains the vote to get before one can be duly deemed to have been elected like that of the president of the federation and state respectively.
The other two candidates, Comrade Olanrewaju Toyosi and Comrade Hamzat Azeez O. allegedly declared as the winner, Treasurer and Sport Director respectively procured the form when it had closed and funnily enough, had a late screening exercise and despite these infractions, they contested and were allegedly declared the winner. This is a bad precedence and which will not of course stand.
THAT pending the determination of this case, Comrade Olanrewaju Toyosi and Comrade Hamzat Azeez O. must not be recognized as the winners of the two posts and as such they must not be sworn in.
THAT the electoral committee be mandated to make available the data of students of the faculty of Voc. and Tech.
THAT the electoral committee be mandated to make available the total accredited number of students and the total number of students that voted.
THAT all our prayer be looked into within four working days (3rd to 6th day of March,2023).
As students, we are not ready to give recourse to violence or anything of such. On that note, we do believe that the institutions involved will wade in to do the needful in earnest.
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