The fracas between Sug and uniben ASUU

– written by Francis Ihejirika

I write this update with pain in my heart as some individuals have misinterpreted a news broadcast on RAVE TV in which I appeared and have made slanderous statements that aim to dent my image and integrity as a person.

I have seen such statements on the Facebook walls of Chukwunalu M Ogelenya and Ehiabhi Goodnews (who may have deleted the posts as the links to them may now be broken).

I have attached the links of their statements below. I also have a screenshot of one.

1. Chukwunalu Ogelenye: https://m.facebook.com/saint.barry.1/videos/2077243655691297/?notif_id=1548540014287404&notif_t=video_wall_create&ref=notif

2. Ehiabi Goodnews: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2013166968804169&id=100003326560773

Below are the details:

I attended a UNIBEN ASUU Townhall meeting on Wednesday, the 23rd of January, 2019, with the theme, “How to save the Nigerian educational system” in my capacity as the Secretary General of the Students’ Union Government, University of Benin.

At this said meeting, ASUU Uniben Chapter made clear to the public and those present their struggle and the reason for their strike action which has lasted for over 73 days.

At this said meeting, I had the opportunity to air my opinion on the ASUU strike as an individual and also in the capacity of the SUG Sec. Gen.

Although the news broadcast didn’t capture the entire commentary (which I communicated to a representative of the TV station), I faulted the Federal Government for failing to attend to the needs of ASUU as it affects the students and also advised ASUU to take a stand politically to fight any government that does not mean well for the education of the students of this nation.

I commended ASUU for taking it upon itself as a body to fight for revitalization of tertiary institutions, for fighting against the implementation of tertiary tuition fee (which would amount to the tone of N350,000 if implemented by the FG), taking stands to ensure payment of the academic staff and the improvement of the standard of learning in Universities but I also faulted ASUU for failing to effectively communicate to the public and students’ community details of their struggle as many students are unaware of the details of their struggle.

They (ASUU) have done so using their official Twitter handle @ASUUNGR but have failed to provide the public with a website where people can follow up on details as they unfold. We rather depend on other news sources for updates.

The news broadcast on Rave TV (channel 113 on GOTV) was on Thursday, 24th of January, and I have attached a video clip of the broadcast.

I had only come online this evening to see rash comments from the below named individuals (Chukwunalu M. Ogelenya and Ehiabi Goodnews); one directly accusing me of “being a leader for my pocket”, using abusive words such as “idiotic” and the other making a laughing stock of my personality.

I made sure to leave comments under their posts whose screenshot I’d attach under this post.

I was glad when some students who were present at the meeting came to my rescue and made sure to let them know what truly transpired at the meeting and my stand there that day.

I hereby demand that both individuals put up their apologies both on their own Facebook walls and underneath this post before 24 hours of writing this message as I would not fail to press charges for defamation of character if this is not done within the stipulated time frame.

I believe that everyone should endeavour to make certain their claims from proper sources before putting word out in public as they can never be recalled because the internet never forgets.

I would also plead with the public to caution both individuals on my behalf to refrain from similar acts in future as it won’t be taken this lightly.

I remain committed to the service of the community which I serve and have not, and will not, do anything to bring disrepute to the Union or put my integrity on the line. So far, I have been able to discharge my duties diligently and without fear or favour. And this I will continue to do until I bow out of office.

Thank you.

Francis Ihejirika
Secretary General,
Students’ Union Government,
University of Benin.

Please find attached the video clip of the broadcast and screenshots of one of the comments. And also screenshots of some other people’s comments in my defense.

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