Barely nine weeks after the reinstatement of the students’ union government (SUG) in Lagos State University (LASU), Nigerian Universities Commission’s (NUC) recognised best State University in the country, is agog again with electoral activities that will see the election of leaders who will steer the affairs of the students for the 2012/2013 academic session.
Following the lifting of ban on campaigns by the Lagos State University Independent Electoral Committee (LASU-IEC) led by Comrade Olajide Dawodu, candidates contesting for the coveted presidential seat of the union began to roll out the their drums ahead of the elections billed to hold today.
It will be recalled that at last year’s election, Akeem Durojaiye emerged president ahead of five other aspirants, in a keenly contested presidential poll. This was without the gold-test debate platforms organised for aspirants for the first time in the history of Nigerian tertiary institutions.
Kudos must be given to the likes of LASU chapters of bodies such as the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Christian Community Fellowship (CCF) and the Association of Campus Journalists (ACJ), who held separate debate programmes for the candidates, thus creating an avenue for the over 70,000 students’ electorate to wisely vote their choice candidates, especially those with feasible manifestos.
However, this year, at the beginning of the race, there were five aspirants. They were: Maruf Ogungbo, immediate past President, Faculty of Education; Yaqub Eleto, former General-Secretary, LASULAWS; Ibrahim Agbomeji; who contested and lost as the Welfare Director last year. Others were Hammed Mustapha, former President, Faculty of Sciences and Ibrahim Owolabi, an active unionist from the Faculty of Management Sciences.
Sequel to the adoption of the management’s recommendation as contained in paragraph 10, stipulating 3.00 as the minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) on a scale of 5.00, three of the aspirants were sent packing as they could not meet up the requisite 3.0 CGPA.
Yaqub Eleto, Ibrahim Agbomeji and Ajibola Agoro, who joined at the nick of time, are now left in the race to be decided today.
Replicating the scene of a national election, before now, every nook and cranny of LASU and its immediate communities have been awash with campaign posters, fliers, banners and billboards of aspirants, bearing their photographs, various campaign inscriptions and slogans.
Towards the countdown to today’s decider, most student unionists and political observers are of the view that the LASU SUG has been gagged by authorities of the university, even though it has been re-instated after the suspension placed on it by the university’s Senate last November in the wake of students’ unrest to protest the 725 per cent tuition fees increment.
Tied to this, they have also described the absence of a physical SUG Arcade to house the offices of elected parliamentarians and executive cabinets as another gagging tool. The old Arcade was bulldozed last June to give way for the construction of a one-storey ultra-modern structure, which management has said would be completed in six months.
According to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. John Oladapo Obafunwa, this development is due to management’s efforts towards restructuring students’ unionism in the school.
Meet the shortlisted Presidential aspirants
Ajibola Agoro, 300 Level Accounting student- was an acting President at the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Otto-Ijanikin(AOCOED).
His manifesto includes: an all-encompassing welfare package (security, academic and social and health services), transparency, creating students’ interactive session to close the gap thereby giving room for development.
Ibrahim Agbomeji, 200 level Botany student- was the former public relations officer of the Faculty of Sciences. He was the former Treasurer of the Federation of Epe Division Students’ Association (FEDSA).
Yaqub Eleto, 400 level Law student is an active unionist. He has NCE (Biology and Integrated Science) from Adeniran Ogunsanaya College of Education, Otto-Ijanikin (AOCOED). At AOCOED, he was the clerk of the student’s union. The former General- Secretary of Education Rights Campaign, is also the immediate past General-Secretary of LASU Law Students’ Society (LASU-LAWS).
LASUSU Half hour on LTV, aimed at projecting the brand of LASU beyond its immediate environment; installation of Central Security Camera (CSC) at strategic position of the campus to aid the security men perform functions successfully.”
Yaqub Eleto, 400 Law is an active unionist. He graduated with NCE in Biology and Integrated Science from Adeniran Ogunsanaya College of Education, Otto-Ijanikin (AOCOED). At (AOCOED), he was the clerk of the student’s Union. The former General Secretary of Education Rights Campaign, he is also the immediate past General Secretary of LASU Law Students’ Society (LASU-LAWS).
Speaking to Quadlife, he promised a mass based democratic Independent students’ unionism, reformed and well packaged welfare programmes, campaign for the improvement in teaching and learning facilities in libraries, laboratories, hostels, lecture halls, massive orientation of students through symposia, seminars, field trip, all in a bid to have students with progressive idea, social programme such as hall of fame dinner, bon fire, a sponsor talent hunt show and sports. I promise to be a machinery of transformation in this institution,” he submitted.
Amidst these promises of hope, the electorates will today decide who emerges to steer and coordinate their affairs within the next academic calendar.