UNIZIK SUG president's impeachment— the reason behind the saga.
The Students’ Union President, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Comrade Noble Chibueze Eyisi, stirred the hornets’ nest when he questioned the outrageous levies imposed on students in a letter addressed to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Joseph Ahaneku.
The heat generated by the letter forced key executive officers of the union to hurriedly commence an impeachment process against him, an action that was seen by other students as the voice of Jacob but the hand of Esau. In this exclusive interview, Eyisi explained the unsavoury relationship with the management, the regime of terror and how students’ activism in the varsity is threatened by the rage of an emperor.
These are Noble's reply to some questions:
Q: You accused the management of Nnamdi Azikiwe University of imposing exorbitant fees on the students in a letter addressed to the Vice Chancellor. How did the management react to this development?
Ans: The letter was first addressed to the Vice Chancellor in confidence and he called me and demanded for a meeting. In the meeting he asked me if I was the one who authored the letter or someone else wrote and gave me to sign. So I answered him, I wrote and signed and sent to you sir, through the Dean, Students Affairs, which was the required protocol. He got the information he needed from me so I left the office, only to be called upon the next day to Council Chambers in a meeting where all key members of the staff was present (Deans, DVC Academics, Admin, CSO, OC Inteliigence, Director, Anti-Cult, etc). They had a swell time drilling me, including all manner of insults, questions and statements. I was intimidated, scolded and almost slapped by the DVC Academics as he stepped out of his seat, approaching me in fierce anger and they were holding him back, that was the height of it. The next day I copied the letter to all students. After the circulation, members of the Anti-Cult began harassing students, seizing the documents from their hands. That was how the crisis started.
Q: Your Vice President alleged that you wrote the letter to delay the impeachment process against you?
ANS: You can check the date of the impeachment notice, the VP is just a tool in the hands of the management.
Q: Did you write the letter with the consent of other union executives?
ANS: Every Unizik Students is a “union member.” I was elected by them, according to the constitution, I speak for them. They’ve already given me all the consent I need to do my job.
Q: Why do the union and the management seek your impeachment?
ANS: My sin is that immediately I was elected, I slashed transport fare around the campus to N20, and also championed a decrease in the price of food as sold by food vendors on campus. I am supposed to be getting N20,000 daily from drivers in the school, but I forfeited that just to ensure that the fare is reduced. But when we slashed the price of a plate of food on campus from N200 to N150, the management resisted, just because there is an amount of money which the food vendors pay to them. We have told them that the people who buy the food are students and not management staff, and we know how we are suffering but they refused to listen. That was how they started fighting me. My impeachment is being sponsored by the Vice Chancellor, having met with the Speaker of the SRC. The SRC only sits on Fridays, but as you can see in the letter it’s Monday, the SRC only seats in that manner when there’s an emergency. So tell me the emergency here?
Q: When did your relationship with the VC turned sour and what can you say is the problem?
ANS: My relationship with the VC took a dive to the rocks when I began implementing the N150 food price; members of my task force were rounded up and detained. I went to his home to complain, only for him to scold me for 1 hour, 30 minutes. When he was done, he asked if I needed a drink, I told him, no. Then I left.
Q: What is your advice to fellow students?
ANS: Zikites should be rest assured that I am not giving up on them. Our tomorrow will be better than today! But we need to fight for that tomorrow. I want it to be on record that, I’ve been intimidated times without number. The bus given to the union by Governor Peter Obi has been seized by the university management. My aides have been living in fear as they are being trailed and monitored on campus. The anti-cult group has been clamping down on all of them, to the extent that they had to shut down the entire male block of Elmada Hostel just to get my PA. Phones belonging to my aides, including my own, have been seized and bugged. They’ve been threatened not to post anything on Facebook, all these are the handwork of Makutus, the Personal Assistant to the Vice Chancellor. He has been playing to the gallery, trying to prove to his boss that he can contain the situation.