The crisis rocking the Ijede Students’ Union Government (ISU) has refused to go away despite the elections of new executives, a process which some stakeholders described as free, fair and credible.
Comrade Rufai Azeezat emerged as the new ISU President at the election held at the Ijede Town Hall on Saturday, January 15, 2022.
However, some of the stakeholders are protesting that the election was not free, stating that the election venue was allegedly militarized by police officers with no member of the Caretaker committee in attendance.
Other elected officials of the union are Comr. Agbabiaka Abdul Hamid (Vice President), Comr. Salisu Masturah (Secretary), Comr. Raheem Quadri (Financial Secretary), Comr. Seriki Abideen (Legal Director), Comr. Odutola Sultan (Welfare Director), Comr. Oshikoya Risqot (Social Director)and Comr. Abass Abdul Azeez (Public Relations Officer).
THE IMPACT gathered that the misunderstanding started before the election when members of the Union agreed to saddle the duo of Comrade Habeeb Raji (Olodo) and Comrade Sanni Abdul Gafaar, both former Presidents of the union, with the control of the union to bring back activities, following the lull that preceded Comrade Wahab Abiru’s administration.
While Habeeb was made the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee, Sanni was made the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Committee.
Some of the students argued that it was constitutionally wrong to appoint Habeeb in that capacity as the association’s constitution only mandates an outgoing President to serve in that position.
But in his defence, Habeeb argued that he was appointed at a Congress in November, 2021.
On the part of Sanni, it was said that he initially rejected the position of the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Committee but later change his mind to serve but he was rejected by some members who said that he had earlier rejected the offer.
Both former Presidents, THE IMPACT gathered, allegedly supported a particular candidate for the position of the President. Their position, according to report gathered, did not go down with the other aspirants and students who believe that both should have been neutral considering their positions major stakeholders.
We also gathered that the two former Presidents disagreed when the Caretaker Chairman demanded of the Electoral Chairman to avail him with his committee’s report.
The request, THE IMPACT gathered, was outrightly turned down by the electoral body led by Sanni.
The controversy was taken to the social media platform on Monday, January 17, when stakeholders engaged themselves on the Ijede LCDA Updates WhatsApp Platform.
Hon. Kabir Kareem, the Vice Chairman of the Ijede LCDA, speaking on the platform in his capacity as former President, PRO and Ex – Officio of the ISU, said that the election was free and fair.
“I will be speaking in my capacity as the Former P.R.O, Ijede Students’ Union (2000-2002), former President, Ijede Students’ Union (2002-2004) and former Ex-Officio, Member of Ijede Students’ Union (2004-2006). Aside from serving in different capacities in the Union, ranging from Constitution Amendment Committee, ISU Electoral Committee, etc, l, Kabir Femi Kareem, categorically and sincerely confirm that the electioneering process of the just Concluded ISU Screening and Election were FREE,FAIR AND CREDIBLE, as I was present from the beginning to the end, alongside some other past Presidents, Excos, President of the National Association of Ikorodu Division Students , the DPO, Ijede Police Station and other observers, for monitoring”, he said.
“I am again restating that the Screening and Election as witnessed by me and others, were FREE, FAIR AND CREDIBLE”, he emphasized.
Habeeb, whose WhatsApp name is ‘Olodo’, challenged Hon. Kabir on the credibility of the election.
He alleged that Hon. Kabir invaded the election venue with police officers.
“Try to get a copy of the Nation Newspaper on Wednesday. Tell me the last election the union held that had policemen and DPO in attendance.
“You brought them because of the gimmicks you had in mind.
“An election where there was no member of the caretaker committee in attendance. Egbon (brother), I have written to the appropriate desks, you will be shocked”, he added.
He also challenged one Idris who alleged that he has been diverting the union’s fund for personal use, to make his facts public about his allegations.
“Please, l am really waiting for you to expose everything and mind you, you were not present at the congress meeting where they chose me as the caretaker committee chairman and this was just last November.
“The tenure of my committee expires this January, so how have I been using the position to curry personal favour outside?”, he asked rhetorically.
Habbeb also threatened to sue Idris for defamation of character.
Meanwhile, Idris, while making allegations against Habeeb on the Ijede LCDA Updates WhatsApp Platform, said:
“Maybe it’s high time you want to expose yourself as you have been using ISU platform to get things outside (it’s constitutionally allowed space).
“While you are not the outgoing President of the union, you were made the Caretaker committee chairman against the constitution of the union. Maybe you don’t know that you are not even eligible to be the chairman of the caretaker committee, going by the provision of the constitution of the union..
“Only the outgoing President is eligible to be the chairman of caretaker committee. Go back and read the constitution bro… Stop using ISU to make money”, he alleged.
In a chat with Comrade Idris Bello, the Coordinator, National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Ijede LCDA, on the matter, he said that both Habeeb and Sanni did not handle the matter very well.
“It’s quite unfortunate that Habeeb and Sanni, both former Presidents of the ISU and the handlers of the sensitive committees that organized the election, failed to handle the situation very well”, he said.
“I hope that the matter is resolved as soon as possible in the interest of ISU and Ijede community as a whole”.
Alhaji Taiwo Fesomu, one of the union’s founding fathers and a Director with the Lagos State Safety Commission, in his own intervention, called on the feuding stakeholders to sheathe their swords while assuring them that the union’s founding fathers would meet to find a lasting solution to the matter.
“For the sake of the founding fathers, which I think I am graciously and sincerely part of, please, sheathe your sword for now”, he said.
“The founding fathers will like to meet all the stakeholders if you so wish and resolve this matter in the best interest of the union. Thank you and be patient to build the Ijede of our dream”, the elderly ISU founding father pleaded