I write as a concerned student who is a part of the larger student union; National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) and one who is much concerned about student/youth leadership, the SRC and everything that has to do with student and youth development especially with taking the right steps now to solve the many issues we have with the current system looking at a better future for all.
The happenings in the University of Energy and Natural Resources has caught my attention and given me quite much to worry about the current Student Representative Council and it’s regulation of the schools elections.
COVID-19 has indeed not dealt with us well and we have to manage the situation and find the best possible way out of it. Whiles that assertion is true all across board, I believe there is the need to make sure that there is no room for suspicions that grows into cynicism at any point in time. Just as we need free and transparent electoral processes without COVID-19, I believe we do need same and even more now that we have the pandemic with us.
Elections and Voting
The SRC once again took the wonderful step of getting innovative with vision via a short code. I’m saying this hoping it was also a very far deal agreed on by all or majority of stakeholders involved in the process. What has caused the worry for me as a concerned student however are two things.
The first is the fact that elections that were supposed to begin yesterday have still not started. Question is; “What is happening?”. I hope the good students of UENR have answers to this.
The second and most worrying is the developments with regards to some legal matters on the ongoing elections.
A notice of an interlocutory injunction filed at and approved by the high court in Sunyani put a hold on the same elections that was supposed to start yesterday till all matters raised by the litigant are addressed and settled by the court before the elections move on.
However, developments gathered yesterday indicates that the Electoral Commission of UENR released a statement which indicates that the said notice was fake.
Now that is very worrying because per the statement of the EC, the applicant whose name is on the notice therein (or someone) has forged a notice from the high court with stamps, name of a judge and other important details trying to cause a standstill (for want of a better word)Whiles that implication is very serious, it is also important to note that should it be true and the elections are still being carried out, then the SRC and even dean of students of the school who was added to the suit as a respondent are acting in contempt of court which is not good.
Again, should it be true, then the EC’s claims will further be implying students ignore the courts, meaning a total disregard for the court. This is also something we never want to see in student leadership, politics, governance and administration I believe.
“And I hear there was no official notice of polls from the Electoral Commission?”
I hope that is a misinformation.
COVID-19 has truly brought up a lot of unexpected things that we must manage and work with but it sure means that we have to be extra transparent with everything that we do.
If the claims that the suit is fake is true, can they be proved? Because on both sides, the implications are bad for the school and student leadership, governance and administration as a whole.
Can the flow of communication be active so that everyone is on the same page? We are creating too much room for doubts, cynicism and suspicions. We don’t need that at such crucial times, respectfully.
I hope that these concerns will go a long way to put things in their rightful place for everything to move on smoothly whiles we battle out the discomforting issues COVID-19 has brought us.
A concerned student and unionist_Samuel Swanzy-Baffoe_ _Ghana Institute of Journalism_