SAYS BALLOTING SYSTEM IS A WELCOME DEVELOPMENT
“Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it – Frantz Fannon.
The Education Rights Campaign (ERC), Lagos State University Chapter, applaud Lasuites for demonstrating that there is power in unity. Our ability to unite against all odds makes us stronger. Moreso, the events of the past few days have shown that Lasuites are prepared to defend the independence of their union against any internal or external threat. Therefore, it is important to put things in right perspective and that is why ERC considers it necessary to put forward this statement.
The demand of the mass of students for an alternative system of voting is genuine and we fully support and identify with it. Every human learn from experience. Based on experience, Lasuites are not wrong to reject the e-voting system on the basis of suspicious manipulations and failure of the system in recent time. Although this failure might be seen from the perspective of ICT error but nevertheless error is error. In order not to further toy with the election process, the quest for alternative system of system is inevitable and justified.
To be clear, similar dissatisfaction and suspicion of manipulation which Lasuites have variously expressed exists on other campuses where the e-voting system is in practice. A major drawback of the e-voting system is that students or the students union does not own nor control the technology and software. These are primarily under the control of the authorities and the consultants employed for the purpose. Also the e-voting system places considerable difficulties on the path of candidates who may wish to challenge the outcome. Consequently, the e-voting system gives undue advantage to the authorities to manipulate the process in favour of their preferred candidates.
Now an agreement has emerged to employ the ballot paper system much to students’ relief. However for us in the ERC, this would not automatically mean that all election manipulations crisis are over or that the authorities would still not be able to influence the elections. Students must understand that by agreeing to the ballot system, the University authorities were scared by the public uproar against the electronic system. Therefore, Lasuites should then expect concerted efforts to sabotage the ballot paper system in order to compel students to agree to the introduction of the electronic system of voting. Ultimately, an independent students union free from management interference can only be achieved through struggle. As they say, eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
Therefore, students must be prepared to defend the ballot paper system by ensuring proper and adequate monitoring of the process, prevent anything that might lead to disruption of the process, raise alarm on any suspicious move and report such to the appropriate quarters. All these are what Lasuites need to do to sustain the ballot paper system.
To ensure a fully transparent and independent LASUSU capable of defending the interest of students, Lasuites must also demand an end to the shady selection/screening process for honourable members of the SPC. We must demand that all honourable members of the SPC must be elected by the popular votes of their constituencies. Anyone who wants to become an SPC member should go and campaign for votes among members of his or her constituencies. This is the only way to end nepotism in LASUSU.
ERC hereby call on the LASUSU IEC to come out with Electoral Rules and Regulations to guide the conduct of the ballot paper system as provided by the LASUSU constitution. This will enable students to be aware of the election Modus operandi.
In conclusion, ERC hereby wishes Lasuites a free and fair election and also urge Lasuites to be wise in making their choice of leadership.
Aluta.... Continua...... Victoria Ascerta!
Dihkrullah Aasim (Bintinlaye)
ERC LASU Coordinator