by crossriverwatch admin
Conflict is currently rocking the National Association of Cross River State Students, NACRISS, as a section of the students are protesting the names of those announced as winners of the election conducted into the association’s executives on Wednesday in Calabar.
One of the aggrieved presidential candidates who led the protesting students, Mr. Akwaji Henry Omang told CrossRiverWatch that they are angry over the forceful removal of the election ballot boxes by soldiers attached to the state security outfit, Quick Intervention Service from the election venue at Hope Waddell Institute to the office of the Quick Intervention office where the students were driven away and the results announced in their absence.
“It has taken us two years to conduct this election but Hilary Bisong the Personal Assistant to the governor on Students Affairs and Gilbert Ogar, NACRISS legal adviser colluded with the authorities to subvert the election result”.
Akwaji Omang said the elections were conducted in a free and fair atmosphere but when it was time for the results to be counted, Mr. Bisong came up with excuses and eventually took the ballot boxes away.
“When he saw that the candidate the government seem to be backing was not the popular choice of the students and would not win the election he began to contrive excuses and delay tactics so that the process would drag on till night from the 4:23 pm the casting of votes ended so that at night fall they can do what they wanted but we started shouting and he said the venue we are using is a worship place by the Presbyterian church, owners of Hope Waddell and that by shouting we are desecrating the place.
“When the shouts demanding for the votes to be counted and the results announced continued, Mr Omang said the Personal Assistant to Imoke said the results would not be counted and the election had been declared null and void.
“He then ordered the Cross River Broadcasting Corporation, CRBC, staff covering the election to turn off his camera and return to the station and after that, called on the Quick Intervention soldiers to take the ballot boxes away”.
“The students however followed the soldiers with the ballot boxes to their office and when they got there, Hilary Bisong made a phone call and said Mrs Obioma Imoke wanted to talk to the commander of the Quick Intervention force and after the man answered the call he ordered the soldiers to send us away and they started shooting into the air and drove us out of their premises and those who did not leave quick enough were manhandled”.
Omang said out of the four candidates who contested for the post of president, Odey David Ominya, Henry Akwaji Omang and Onigah Pius and Philomena , “the least popular candidate was Philomena but we are surprised that this morning CRBC is announcing Philomena as the winner of the election”.
The protesting students who carried placards bearing various inscription demanded the removal of Hilary Bisong and Gilbert Ogar from office by Senator Imoke.
In his reaction, Mr. Gilbert Ogar told CrossRiverWatch that claims by the students that election results were falsified in favor of Philomena are lies.
“It is not proper to respond to lies but for record purposes let me state that elections were conducted after accreditation but at the point of counting the votes and declaring the result, the management of Hope Waddell asked us to leave their hall and the ballot boxes were taken to Quick Intervention office and counted”.
Several calls and messages to Hilary Bisong were not answered but Mr. Nkamonke Ubi, the Press Secretary to Mrs. Imoke said “Madam is too occupied doing other things to want to get involved in students politics. Please leave her out of such matters. For all I know, she is a mother to all of them and would not want to favor one above the other”.
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