Ojukwu Varsity ASUU election ends in fiasco, ballot boxes shattered

Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 25 March 2016 | 3,064 times

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An election organised Thursday by the Academic Staff Union (ASUU) of the Anambra State-owned Odumegwu Ojukwu University Igbariam to its senate members for the university Council ended in a fiasco, with the ballot boxes shattered and thrown away. News Express learnt that trouble started when the lecturers could not agree on who was qualified for the election.

While the lecturers engaged themselves in shouting matches, some of them reached for the ballot boxes, smashed and threw them away, with the votes already cast by voters scattered all over the university auditorium. In the ensuing confusion, many ASUU members scampered for safety and the exercise ended abruptly.

At the centre of the disagreement was whether contract staff who had spent more than three years in the university and staff members who were undertaking courses in the university were qualified to contest the election.

Chairman of the university’s ASUU, Mr. Emeka Nwabunnia, and some other officials had insisted that contract staff and those pursuing postgraduate programmes were not qualified to contest the election since, according to them, the Council is the governing body of the university system. They also argued that it is wrong for student lecturers of the institution to contest the election which, if they succeeded, would make them to sit in judgment and determine the fate of others even while still students in the institution.

However, describing the position of the ASUU leadership as baseless, one of the contestants, Mr. Chike Osegbue, a PhD student of Political Science, argued that they did not have the backing of most members of ASUU.

The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Fidelis Okafor, also disagreed with the ASUU leadership, saying that the listed candidates were check off-paying members of ASUU and bonafide members of staff of the university and are, therefore, qualified to vote and be voted for in the election. In his words, “It would be wrong to collect check off and other dues from them and thereafter deny them election opportunity.”

Though the election continued following the intervention of the VC, some people who apparently felt that their candidates were losing destroyed the ballot boxes and scattered the ballot papers.

Addressing journalists after the election was disrupted; the VC said that the election would be rescheduled after necessary logistics have been put in place.

•Odumegwu Ojukwu University VC, Prof. Fidelis Okafor.


Source: News Express

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