How Enoch secured unexpected victory to emerge UNN SUG president

 How Enoch secured unexpected victory to emerge UNN SUG president

Roughly a month after the University of Nigeria, Nsukka’s (UNN) Students Union Government (SUG) election, Comr. Enoch Chukwuebuka was inaugurated as the Executive President of the Union.

It was during an event organised by the past administration, led by Comrade Abuchi Michael, held at Princess Alexandra Auditorium on the 28th day of November, that Enoch and his team showed the entire students and the school authorities, yet again, how ready they are to take up the mandate given to them.

On this day, Enoch and his team took an oath of allegiance, dedication, and readiness to serve both the students and the institution as a whole. This marked the beginning of a new era in the Union: an era with hope and promises, an era that promises to focus on academic excellence.

The victory of Enoch was an unexpected one because though he is known to be kind and gentle but was not as popular as his opponents during the campaign processes.

The election into various offices available in the union over the years, has been conducted every session, and those who won are allowed only one academic session in office, after which another set is elected.

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In 2020, just before the 8-month strike that occurred in early 2022, Comr. Abuchi Michael and his team assumed office on the 20th of December, 2021. Owing to the disorganized academic calendar resulting from the prolonged ASUU strike, the school authority decided to shelve the 2021/2022 election for the students’ Government.

This decision, though it came with a lot of criticisms, affected many students who were aspiring and had already begun their campaigns in preparation for the election. It meant that those students spent a considerable amount of money campaigning without receiving anything in return.

Among those who were already making waves before the decision was made were Akuma Elijah, known as ‘The Advocate’ from the Department of Mass Communication, and Nwigwe Prosper, also known as ‘Prosper Nation,’ from the Department of Political Science.

Finally, as the 2022/2023 academic session began in August 2023, the school authorities approved an election to be held. This time, only students from their third year downwards were qualified, disqualifying the previous aspirants.

As the preparation began, many students began to show their interest. Among the prominent of these aspirants were Raluchukwu Nwafor from Social work and Ifeanyi Obi from Mass Communication department.

Enoch Utazi was the least known among the aspirants. However, after the screening stage, Ifeanyi Obi and the other aspirants were disqualified, leaving only Utazi and Raluchukwu in the race.

As the election day drew near, the competition became more heated up although it was obvious that Raluchukwu was winning in popularity. It was even rumored that he was the preferred candidate of the out-going SUG president.

30th October, 2023 was the D-day. The students were out in their numbers to cast their votes for their preferred candidates. The election started on a smooth note as the students all gathered at Nnamdi Azikiwe Library which was the only polling unit available for the election.

While at the venue to vote, some students pointed out that the voting experience was far from ideal as it was very difficult.

Somadina Eleke from the Department of Mass Communication said, “The experience today is extremely bad. To even go inside to vote is a serious problem. I have tried severally to go in but the crowd here is too much, and the way things are managed seems extremely bad. Someone even fainted due to the dragging and squeezing here and there. The security operatives are not even helping matters.”

Esther Abonyi, a student from the Faculty of Agriculture also raised concerns about the conduct of security operatives, stating that they used force during the election. She said, “I don’t like the fact that the election started late. Also, I don’t seem to understand why the security operatives were flogging students with koboko. For crying out loud, this is their right, and they should be allowed to vote. That apart, I think the whole process is free and fair.”

The students nevertheless, continued voting until it was around 7 pm. By 8 pm that same day, the electoral body was ready to announce the winner of the election. Obviously, everyone was expecting that Nwafor would be announced.

However, to everyone’s chagrin, Utazi beat Nwafor with a vote margin of 460. The whole school was in ululation as, though Nwafor was the most popular, Utazi was the most loved. It was an unexpected victory as the faculty of pharmaceutical science had not produced an SUG president in almost 5 years.

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The Students’ Union Government is an association of University with student leaders which tries to foster a harmonious relationship between the students and the school authorities. Such is common in universities and has been in existence right from the inception of the University of Nigerian, Nsukka Campus.


By Kenechukwu Onah

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