By George Odok
Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Florence Obi, has advised students of the institution to shun any form of election violence and thuggery during and after general elections.
Obi, who gave the advice during an interaction with newsmen on Tuesday in Calabar, urged the students to resist any attempt to be used by politicians as thugs.
She said following the directives from the National Universities Commission (NUC) that schools should shut down for the election; the institution had announced the suspension of academic activities from Feb. 22 to March 14.
“I want to advise my students to be careful and conscious, especially now that we have high insecurity challenges in the country. I also want to advise them not to allow themselves to be used by any politician as thugs during the elections.
“They should cast their votes based on their conscience and shun any act that may lead to violence. Our students are young people, who are full of energy, some politicians may want to use them as thugs, but they must reject such offers,” she said.
The VC noted that the government had assured eligibility voters of adequate security before, during and after the polls.
She said any student that was caught causing violence or seen involved any form of thuggery will be arrested by security agencies.
The VC also disclosed that 486 academic staff of the institution had begun training for participation as collation and returning officers.
She observed that the senior lecturers were chosen based on experience, integrity, hard work and exposure, commitment and responsiveness to roles and assignment given to them.
“I want to advise my colleagues that we must do our job with all amount of integrity and transparency for the growth of our country.
“The reason why the Independent National Electoral Commission is using lecturers is based on the fact that we have high level of integrity and we must justify this in our conduct.
“We must not allow ourselves to be used to accuse the process. We must refuse to be tempted with money from politicians to buy the process.
“The lecturers must do their work with integrity and protect the corporate image of the university.
“The lecturer must be dedicated and passionate as they do their job on election days,” she said.
She explained that lecturers participation in the electioneering process was a call to “national service’’. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz