Tuesday, August 25

'Don't interfere in student's election' - Unilag Student Union warns school management

I'm sharing it exactly the way it was sent to my mail alongside other top Nigerian media houses. Read below:

GREATEST AKOKITES!!!

UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS STUDENTS’ UNION SAYS NO TO MANAGEMENT'S INTERFERENCE IN ULSU’S ELECTION

The University of Lagos Students’ Union condemns in strong terms this undemocratic and unlawful
interference by the UNILAG management in the internal affairs of the students’ union. We call for the
conduct of elections in line with the provisions of Article 6, Section 2, subsection 1a, b and c of the
union’s constitution and decisions of the Congress of students. continue below.....

According to Article 6, Section 2, subsection 1a, b and c which bothers on election matters states that:

Ss. 1 The Electoral Committee shall consist of the following:

a. a Supervisor who shall be a Staff Adviser recommended by the Vice-Chancellor through the Dean, Students’ Affairs of the University of Lagos who shall oversee the election process and announce election results. 
b. a Student Representative from each faculty, with proven records of integrity, honesty and transparency. 
c. an Electoral Chairperson elected from the students’ representatives by a simple majority.
Unilag Student Union President, Abiodun Martins
Failure to inform the general public of the content of a memo sent to the Union by the management
which stated that Section 1, Subsection 2 of the Students Union Activities (Control and Regulation) Act which provides the regulations for the purpose of the Office of the Dean Student Affairs conducting our election subsequent upon the approval of the Vice Chancellor will amount to concealing the
management's excesses. We can boldly inform you that we have never seen or known about any “Act” regulating and controlling the affairs of the students’ Union. The only Constitution we recognize is the
Supreme ULSU constitution.

From the very moment we heard the management sent letters to Sub-deans of all faculties requesting them to submit names of students' representatives in the electoral committee, a move we faulted and rebuffed almost instantly given that the management has no such power, we have set the ball rolling to ensure management's interference in the election will only be limited to a supervisory role.

The mere fact they requested for electoral committee members after their pronouncement about
leaving the conduction of ULSU election to ULSU – a more reason why that provision in the constitution was pended earlier on in the session, showed their ulterior motive given that the Union has commenced the electoral committee nomination process. Besides, the management does not want as the students’union leadership, radical student activists that can challenge their characteristic enactment of policies such as the one on late registration and GST albeit the undefined “NO NOISE POLICY”. For instance, the management that collects #700 from over 50 Shuttle operators daily and rent fee from shop-owners occupying the Students’ Union axis - a fee supposed to be remitted to the Students’ Union wants such profligacy to continue unchallenged and criminalize the right to protest their obnoxious policies and conducts.

Whilst sensitizing the general public on the need to challenge the University management to hands off ULSU election, we cannot but also call on Dr. M.P Kuton, the Deputy Director, Distance Learning Institute (DLI) and Miss Tope Afere, a 400Level student of the department of Marine Science to stop parading themselves as the Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively of the ULSU electoral committee.

For us in the Students Executive Council (SEC) and Students Legislative Council (SLC), a union exists to represent and advance the interests of its members. This is one of the reasons affairs of such union must be determined by members, and not forced down their throat by external elements like self-serving university authorities. The Unilag students’ union has a constitution which articulates procedures for election, and supreme legislative organ which is the congress. Hence, the right of members to vote or be voted for is a subject for determination by the students, and not the university administration. If their motive for resuscitating the Union is to mold Akokites into World class leaders that can favorably compete with their contemporaries, they should allow us run a full-fledged Union.

All aspirants in the interest of the Union should disregard the constituted guidelines and refrain from purchasing electoral FORMs from the management constituted committee as the Union has already constituted its own.

We hereby call on the management to hands off our election on or before Monday, 24th of August, 2015 the same way they do not interfere in the conduct of ASUU, NASU AND ALUMNI elections so that our own electioneering procedures will not be hampered.

We are calling on students to hold different legitimate actions to protest this attack on their right to independent students’ unionism and elect the leaders of their choice.

We also call on the staff unions, human rights and pro-democratic groups, alumni and ex-student leaders to mount pressure on the school management to stop its interference in the students’ union elections.

We call for protest messages and petitions to the university management.

Public Relations Officer, University of Lagos Students Union.
@ULSUunified ulsuuinfied@gmail.com, 070363194546

CC The University Principal Officers
Dean, Student Affairs
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