by crossriverwatch admin
In an exclusive joint interview with our reporter, the Chairman Welfare Board, National Association of Nigerian Students, Zone B, Comrade Okpako Matthew and an Emeritus President, National Association of Cross River State Students, University of Calabar (UNICAL) Chapter, Comrade Ene Machinery (2008/09) both expressed dismay at the office of the First Lady, Special Adviser, Students Affairs and that of the Legal Adviser to National Association of Cross River State Students World Wide (NACRISS WW) for their roles in the just concluded controversial election of the students union.
Recalling the event the former NACRISS President said, “on that day after delegates finished voting the military men of the Quick Intervention Squad (QIS) that were sent to secure the premises forcefully escorted the electoral members with the ballot box into their van and drove to their office which angered students into challenging them, after a lot of stone throws, the QIS Commander came and addressed us saying the election was cancelled but to our dismay Mr. Hilary Bisong, S. A. to the Governor on Student Affairs and the electoral members drove away with the ballot boxes to an unknown destination by a QIS driver”.
Adding that, “we hurriedly split into groups for peaceful demonstration. I and others went to Cross River Broadcasting Cooperation (CRBC) protesting about the conduct of the election. The management assured us that no result will be announced since the election ended the way it did.
“But to our greatest surprise the next day, the State Government owned media announced an opaque result which lacks democratic model.
“No agent of the candidates nor the candidates will be able to tell where, when and how the votes were counted. The election was rigged and those involved are the First Lady in person of Mrs. Obioma Imoke and her cohorts; the S.A. to the Governor on Student Affairs, Mr. Hillary Bisong, the Legal Adviser to NACRISS World Wide, Barrister Gilbet Agbo and Barrister Chris Nja”.
Comrade Machinery Ene while recounting the event said, “I’m just recovering from the serious beating I received from the security men for defending my right to a free and fair election”.
They both thumped-up Comrade Akwaji Henry, for his courage to petition the electoral committee on the conduct of the election rather than resorting to violence or other extra judicial methods describing him as a true democrat.
Comrade Okpako and Ene said they are not against the female candidate who was eventually announced as the winner but have scores to settle with the process and the hands that saw her into office.
They appealed to good spirited Cross Riverians and other well meaning people in the state to salvage NACRISS from its hi-jackers.
CrossRiverWatch also gathered from some of the union leaders that in the forum of Chapter Presidents, it was agreed that “no NACRISS World Wide congress will be allowed to hold in any of the campuses until the right thing is done”.
In his reaction, Mr. Gilbert Ogar had 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”.
While Mr. Nkamonke Ubi, the Press Secretary to the First Lady, Mrs. Obioma 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”.
Meanwhile, outgoing Emeritus President National Association of Cross River State Students World Wide (NACRISS WW), Comrade Ubi Emmanuel in a closed door handing over ceremony held in calabar recently said his successor’s “government will prosper against all odds”.
At the occasion, he lauded all Nacrites for their followership during his administration. He said, “I must say that today I feel fulfilled because I wouldn’t have achieved all I did if you my dear comrades were not firmly by my side from day one till the end, thank you.”
He called on all Nacrites to support the new government urging the new executive members to work as a team. “I appeal to every Cross Riverian to support this new administration in all ramifications and to you my successors, I charge you to work in unison for the good of all because without working as a team no goal of yours will be easily achieved.”
In her acceptance speech, the newly inaugurated President, Comrade Odah Philomina Agwaye expressed her gratitude and pledged to lead by serving.
“I stand this moment to say that I am happy for this opportunity given to me to pilot the affairs of this union for the next two academic sessions. I promise to carry everyone along to the promise land with the best of my ability.”
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