A massive protest rocked the campus of Lagos State University, LASU, on Thursday, as aggrieved students accused the management of the school of interference with their union’s election.
The election to fill various executive positions in the Students’ Union had been scheduled to hold on Wednesday, before it was postponed to Thursday, yesterday.
The postponement was due to technical problem with the servers to facilitate the process of the election.
But as the students went to various polling booths, they discovered that once tickets generated from system to vote already signified prospective voters had already voted, reported our correspondent who monitored the development on campus.
Meanwhile, there was a text from a presidential candidate, SAMGRIN, yesterday to the entire students in a bid to canvass votes, sparking outrage and suspicion the candidate had access to records kept by the school.
The students wondered how the candidate could have gotten the contacts of students, ex-students and even parents if it wasn’t a ploy by the school management to get that candidate in.
A video had allegedly been prepared to celebrate the candidate’s victory.
However, the Vice-Chancellor, Olanrewaju Fagbohun, defended the management, insisting there was no motivation to manipulate the process in favour of any candidate.
He further explained “When we met on Monday morning, it was to review the entire process, we went through the review in terms of the security, we went through the review in terms of administration, we went through the review in terms of the technology, we went through all of these on Monday. By Tuesday, we reviewed it. On Wednesday, when the election was supposed to start, we found out by 2 o’clock that we were having challenges. I met with all the aspirants and I spoke to all of them, just to let them know we’re with you in this process, we are not taking your process away from you, it is your right.
“At the end of the discussion with all the aspirants and IEC, we agreed that Wednesday the election will continue, by yesterday around 5 o’clock we released funds to insure because what we had yesterday was more of Internet challenge, but yesterday evening around 5 o’clock we released funds for them to have a backup so that we’re not going to rely only on Glo, that we also have Swift to give us Internet services, the assurances we had was that by 10 o’clock – 11 o’clock, we will be able to start the election, but what happened this morning was that the head of ICT collapsed, as I’m talking to you now, the head of ICT is already somewhere receiving treatment.”
He was however cut short, as the students continued to shout out their demands.
Fagboun in his bid to seek a solution referred back to the students’ Union Independent Electoral Committee, tasking them to go back to the drawing board and present how the students wanted to run their election. He promised that the management will work alongside the students.
He assured that the students shall be in charge of their own election, and they would get the full support of the management. He pleaded against violence, saying “we don’t need crisis, we don’t need to fight,if we create a chaos for ourselves, we find out that it’s our own session that we are destabilizing”.
At the end of the address, the Vice Chancellor and the students agreed to have a redress at 4 o’clock on Thursday. However, when the students reconvened at the Vice Chancellor’s office, he was a not available for the meeting.
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