*as VC urges calm, democracy
The prevailing peace in the Nnamdi Azikiwe University is currently being threatened by the preparations ahead the Students Union Government (SUG) election scheduled for Wednesday, Dec 12, 2012.
But the Vice Chancellor, Prof Boniface Egboka has urged the students to calm down, eschew violence, embrace peace and close ranks in the interest of the general progress and development of the university.
He also washed his hands off whatever that was going on in the campaigns, screenings and the election itself, noting that he has remained an apostle of democracy and its principles in every aspect of the university administration and human relationship.
A section of the students under the aegis of The Concerned Students of UNIZIK led by one Emmanuel Chidebe had written a petition, copy of which was made available to journalists, alleging that one of the favorite candidates for the students union presidency, Mr Christian Bond Osadebe, a 300 Level student of Civil Engineering was surreptitiously disqualified to pave way for another who was said to have been more favored by the university’s management.
It was also alleged that ahead of the screening of the candidates on Dec 5, 2012 by the Security Dept of the university, that Osadebe was abducted to far location outside the university neighbourhood by unknown persons apparently to pave way for the other less fancied candidates.
When news of his abduction spread, the screening was put on hold and on his release hey was screened and disqualified. This incensed other students who threatened to go un violent demonstration immediately. The concerned students saw his travails as barefaced intimidation, arm-twisting and unprovoked harassment aimed at paving way for his less-fancied opponent to coast home to an undeserved victory.
It took the intervention of a former Director of Socials/Welfare of the SUG, Mr Kpakpando Nwazota to calm the situation down. The students had insisted that it was injustice to disqualify “the most qualified candidate without any cogent reason”. They therefore appealed to all stakeholders, including the Vice chancellor, the Governing Council, Minister of Education, the presidency and rights groups to intervene in the matter before it snowballs out of proportion.
When contacted, Osadebe said he only wants justice and fairness to be allowed to prevail. He urged the authorities to give him and other interested candidates a level playground for the election, pledging to give maximum cooperation to whoever defeats him.
It could be remembered that Senator Uche Chukwumerije commended the VC for transparency and democratic principles in his administration, when the senate committee on education visited the university recently.