AN INTERVIEW WITH SUG PRESIDENTIAL ASPIRANT, ENYI ETTA – SUG ELECTION UNICAL- 2016
BY DANIEL FAITHFUL
1. Please can you introduce yourself?
Enyi: I am Etta Enyi, a 300 level student of medicine and surgery, an activist, a unionist, and a 2 time member SUG Electoral body as an independent observer and by the grace of God the current Mr. Unical
Are you aware of the protest and events that transpired in Uniport?
Enyi:Yes I am aware.
2. There has been a rise in students protest in various universities across the country, some have been violent others peaceful what in your opinion can be attributed to this?
Enyi: Well for me protest should be seen as a last resort, unionist should try to reason constructively with the school management before protest. To answer your question, I feel our management sometimes leave the students with no choice as their pleas fall on deaf ears. Secondly our union leaders do not exhaust all resources at their disposal before resorting to a demonstration. What are the avenues to be used? There are various tools to be used by union leaders, to express their grievances aside a demonstration. One of it is dialogue which I feel should always come first, secondly constructive negotiations between the school management and the union, if these fail there are several others which could be exploited before resorting to the mass media to express our grievances. By mass media I mean publications, newspapers and other means both online and in print, before the protest.
So in your opinion should there be resort to protest?
Enyi: The protest should only be resorted to in extreme cases, because there are tendencies for a peaceful protest to get out of control and become volatile
3. What do you think could have been done differently to prevent the sad events that ensued in UNIPORT Protest? To be prevent such protest from being violent? What is the role of security agencies
Enyi: Before a protest should be carried out law enforcement agencies should be made aware and the law enforcement agencies should ensure the riot act is read to them, to prevent it from escalating to violence. The SUG executives have the duty of informing the appropriate authorities of a planned protest, first of all reading the riot act and sending trained and experienced personnel to help supervise the conduct of the protest.
4. So far, it is becoming common place for union leaders to be suspended or moves for their impeachments being made what could be responsible for this?
Enyi: It boils down to the individual, if the individual delivers his campaign promises, then I see no reason why he should be suspended by the legislature.
5.Could you in your own terms Define corruption?
Enyi: Corruption has to do with public office holders forfeiting their constitutional duties in order to satisfy personal desires or by placing their personal desires before their service to the organization
Things you consider as corruption?
Enyi: Well you have the issue of the arm scandal, where funds for the purchase of ammunition were being siphoned and boycotted for personal use.
Any other examples?
Enyi: There are several others but, I think I will do with this for today.
In other words you consider financial misappropriation as corruption?
Enyi: (cuts in) as one of the aspects of corruption. I said one because corruption could come in several other forms, a situation where a lecturer gives a student unfair advantage because of his or her relationship with such a student is corruption. A situation where certain resources meant for public use are not accessible to the average citizen due to the fact, that some persons have cut a large chunk of those resources for themselves that is corruption.
6. Also we have noticed that financial mismanagement has been a central point around which moves for suspension or impeachment of union leaders from office, what is responsible?
Enyi: Like I said earlier, financial mismanagement is only a part of corruption. It comes in various ways, but the most frequent is always financial mismanagement, because like they say, money is the root of all evil.
So why is there mismanagement by leaders in whom confidence has been reposed in after assumption of office?
Enyi: It still boils down to the individual, and the motive for going into office, whether it was genuine or not, or it was for personal interest. Then when it gets to a certain stage of conflict between his personal interest and the electorate, there is a need for the legislature to check this and the outcome is what we have today.
7. In what ways do you think there would be financial transparency of student government in your opinion?
Enyi: I feel first there has to be election of the right leaders, leaders who are not selfish, only then can we now talk of methods to compliment the transparency of the union leaders to checkmate their excesses. One of it is the use of auditors, to audit the account of the SUG. Another is to increase the effectiveness of the committee saddled with the responsibility of checking the excesses of union leaders, and several more.
8. We know there are academic requirements and security clearance, are there any concerns that may affect your eligibility?
Enyi: For me, I would say before someone comes publicly to express his intention to vie for a particular position, such an individual should know the criteria to run for this office and cross checking this with himself, because he would be fooling himself, if within him he knows he is not qualified. As for me I have met all the required criteria required to run for the SUG presidency amongst which are; I have a CGPA above 3.5 in my immediate past session and first year academic results. I have never had any course to be invited and detained by law enforcement agency, both within and outside
Campus. I am not in any form of suspension by any registered association or groups on campus. I am not holding any office in any organization in the University of Calabar, and any other requirements to be accounted for by the constitution of the SUG.
9. What do you think would be the impact on welfare of students about the removal of certain structures within the campus, marked down by COBOC?
ENYI: I believe every land, nation or community has certain guidelines and rules guiding its citizens to avoid lawlessness and chaos and University of Calabar, has its own set of rules and if the body saddled with the responsibility of checking the businesses on campus feels one or more of such business centres have defaulted, it is their responsibility to bring them to book., if any of them feels their rights are infringed they should follow the legal channel. I believe the university management have a clear cut plan of how the University of Calabar is supposed to be and if it is towing in line I believe it is appropriate for University of Calabar to check them. I also know that the University of Calabar management which is student friendly would make adequate provision for a concrete replacement.
10. As an SUG Presidential aspirant by what ideologies, tenets, principles and objectives would you run by if elected?
ENYI: I believe the banner of campaign has not been lifted and by that I am limited by the things I can say. I would have a day where I would completely air out my plans and visions for Nigerian students and I believe that day would be the manifesto night, and SUG Presidential debate and for now my mission is to have a Student union government that will unite and revive unionism in the University of Calabar and my vision is to have a government run by activists and not politicians.
Daniel Faithful is a 300l student of Medicine and Surgery, and a Campus Journalist, with Nigerian Union of Campus Journalist( NUCJ)