There was tension at the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY) in Abeokuta, Ogun State, following an indefinite suspension of Students’ Union Government (SUG) election.
The exercise, scheduled for last Thursday at 10am, could not hold due to the absence of the Students’ Union Electoral Committee (SUELECO) chairman, identified as Adeniji.
Students had gathered at the school’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Centre, the venue of the exercise, to cast their votes when it was discovered that Adeniji was not part of the 10-man committee that wanted to conduct the election.
The development raised concerns among the voters and supporters of one of the presidential candidates.
The two contenders for the union president are Samson Omoniyi, (aka Heritage), and Akinyemi Akinwale (aka Genesis). Both are students of Mass Communication.
While Akinyemi’s loyalists were ready to cast their votes in the absence of the SUELECO chairman, Samson’s loyalists withdrew.
An attempt by other members of the electoral committee to continue with the process met a stiff resistance from curious students, who asked for the whereabouts of the committee chairman. When the committee members could not give an answer, the students staged a walkout and called on their colleagues to boycott the election.
Akinyemi’s campaign manager, who identified himself as Mandela, accused the opponent of masterminding the disappearance of the electoral committee chairman to disrupt the election, noting that Samson and his supporters knew they could not win a fair contest.
He said: “Samson and his supporters should be asked questions on the whereabouts of the SUELECO chairman. They went to hide him somewhere and came here, asking for him. They want us to leave here so that they can conduct their own election. No way; we will remain here and election must hold.”
The Staff Adviser of the Mass Communication Students’ Association, Mr. Lekan Togunwa, who addressed the agitated students, urged them to continue with the voting.
Togunwa said it was not mandatory for the SUELECO chair to be available, but the students insisted on seeing the ‘missing’chairman before the election could go on.
Togunwa disclosed that the whereabouts of the electoral committee chair was unknown and his phone number unreachable.
At noon, the Director of Students Affairs (DSA) arrived in the venue and suspended the election.
The DSA said: “Due to the absence of the chairman of the Students Union Electoral Committee, I am here on behalf of the school management to announce the suspension of the election till further notice.”
At press time, the whereabouts of the electoral committee chairman remained unknown. Calls placed to the SUELECO Public Relations Officer (PRO) and the General Secretary were not received.