By Ogar Monday
The University of Calabar from all indications is set to conduct elections into the various positions at the level of the Student Union Government (SUG) of the University, especially with the myriad of posters of aspirants that have flooded the school since last week.
The elections which had been earlier scheduled for Friday 26th June, was postponed to Wednesday 1st July as the day of candidates manifesto presentation clashed with the visitation of the Vice-President.
This is despite earlier protest by students against the e-voting system that was adopted during the last elections that ushered in the administration of Ajang, Emmanuel.
The students particularly raised fears about the vulnerability of the e-voting system, especially as the management can easily manipulate it to suit their whims. The voices against the e-voting system was buried at a town hall for students and management, were the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. James Epoke categorically stated that the “the e-voting system is here to stay.”
Speaking about the elections during the NUCJ Aspirants Debate, the Chairman of the Calabar University Electoral Committee (CUECO), Dr. Mike Igini encouraged the contestants not to lose their ‘cool’ during election.
Dr. Mike Igini who was represented by the administrator of Hall 4 and Secretary of CUECO Mrs. Benita Ikpeme said “all of you here are winners. You are aspiring to represent and champion student’s interest, do not for any reason force yourselves on the students. The reason why you are in the University is to pursue your academics and your aspiration to the various SUG posts are only secondary and temporal, therefore, do not lose sight of your primary goal.”
She further assured the students of the readiness of CUECO to conduct peaceful, free and fair elections.
Also speaking about the elections, Mr. Ekemini John, a Former President of the Nigeria Union of Campus Journalists said “I have been observing and must say, students are really ready to not just cast their votes but make sure it counts. I attended the aspirants’ debate and what I saw there points to the fact that students already know what they want.”
On the issue of imposition of candidates by the management, Ekemini said “I would have been afraid that such thing will happen if I did not know the personality of the CUECO chairman. With someone like him in charge of the electoral committee, the era of candidate imposition is over.”
Also speaking to CrossRiverWatch, James Adah, a 300 level Marketing student said “I have had opportunities of assessing the contestants, during the NUCJ aspirant debate where their critical skills were put to the test, and during their manifesto where they told us what they have in stock for us. I already know candidates that are right for the various offices.”
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