AFAS PRESS engages Kemi Olaniyi Christainiah, AFASIEC CHAIRPERSON for AFAS 2018/19 election, on subsequent actions and reactions that trailed the January 16th, 2020 faculty of Arts general elections.

AFAS PRESS: Let’s begin with the election petitions sent by the other presidential candidates. Do walk us through that path.

AFASIEC chairperson:  I think I should start from the day of the election. After we released the results, it occurred to us that after adding the number of votes for the Presidential candidates, it became more than the total number of voters that we had declared. So on that ground, Damilath and Aderemi said that they were not going to accept the result.  We looked into it and discovered that it was a mistake on the part of the programmer; which was actually not his fault because, at the interval, we were checking the number of students that voted. And of course, we all understand that this is a computer thing; You refresh and refresh. So the last time we check,  the computer displayed 945(total number of voters). Afterward, we still had some people who voted.  By the time we declared the result, the programmer did not refresh that particular page as he was supposed to.

At the end of it all, we all went inside– including the political agents, the President of the faculty, the Speaker, and then we all agreed. We answered every question and sorted out everything. Everybody was fine(satisfied)  with the process and we (electoral committee) proceeded to announced the results. We showed everyone the results and no one complained or commented on it till we declared the results. Immediately after this, the computer programmer went back to the page only to discover that the election result surmounted to 1003. Prior to this,  I wrote a BC(broadcast) where I took responsibility for the mistake and duly apologised.  We went ahead to screenshot the pages that indicated 945 votes and the latter votes.

AFAS PRESS: The change in the election results must have affected other candidates who ran for other political posts, I presume.

AFASIEC chairperson: Yes. if they were complaining that the number of voters for presidential candidates was more than the number of the total vote cast, the same thing was also applicable to all the political offices who had opponents.  So definitely, the number of students who voted were more than the number of voters released. After that, I heard Damilath and Aderemi said that they were not going to accept the result and all that.

AFAS PRESS: How were the petitions handled by the faculty legislative council (FLC)?

AFASIEC chairperson: The Sub-Dean called me and told me that Damilath had filed a petition to the house. And I was like “Really?” I didn’t get any. For Aderemi,  I was in the library when he called to give me the letter. That same day, the FLC summoned me that I should appear before the House. When I got there, none of them showed up.

AFAS PRESS:  Were they aware or duly informed?

AFASIEC chairperson: I don’t know.  I know the FLC always post BCs about every one of their sittings. Although it was an emergency sitting, there was still a BC for it. According to them anyway, they said that FLC did not send for them.

On the other hand, I gave my report and I told the House that Damilath did not give (serve ) me any petition, which means I’m not supposed to attempt the questions addressed to me about him. But regardless, they had the same complaints. The case of Aderemi was therefore treated and I answered all questions on him. The House, in her decision, unanimously ruled out the petition.

AFAS PRESS: Did this decision augur well for the candidates who filed the petition? What happened next?

AFASIEC chairperson: A week after, I was going to the faculty when I received a call from the office of the Dean of Students’ Affairs on the election issue. They learnt I was the chairperson of the just concluded Faculty of Arts election and I responded in the affirmative. I was therefore instructed to appear before them.  I got there as instructed and met both Aderemi and Damilath. I was not even expecting them. Just like what played out at the  FLC sitting, questions were asked and responses were demanded.

Virtually at the end of hearing all sides, the woman asked Aderemi what he wanted. Aderemi said that obviously the election was proof that I wasn’t competent; he asked why I took up the office when I knew I was not competent. That as far as he was concerned, he has never lost an election and had lost because of my incompetence. In effect to this, he wanted an apology letter because I had soiled his name and reputation. He did not just want an apology letter but he wanted me to write it and post it all over UI, up to UCJ level. Secondly, he wanted a re-run election because of the irregularities and manipulation around the election.

AFAS PRESS: What did Damilath propose?

AFASIEC CHAIRPERSON: Damilat said that he wanted justice. According to him, AFASites really deserved a leader they want and in respect to that, he claims to be the one. He added that the only way they can get justice was to re-run the election. So the woman asked me what I wanted and I told her instead of them (Damilath and Aderemi) fighting me and seeking justice, they should look inward and check where exactly they had missed it.

For Damilath, I told him that everybody was aware that his own departmental President did not vote for him because he had issues in his department. And then I told him that if your own department is against you, how do you expect to win? At least your first supporters should be from your department. A lot of people from his department did not vote for him because they said he had attitudinal issues.

AFAS PRESS: Do you have documented records proving that students from Damilath department did not vote for him or some form of generalization because of the issues he had with his departmental president?

AFASIEC CHAIRPERSON: I might not be able to prove it. We accredited people  and there was a list that I can’t release. But from what I  heard, some freshers in English did not vote for him. From interaction with people, his department didn’t support him. And for Aderemi, I learnt that he was initially planning to go for students Union Secretary or something. So because of the CGPA requirements, which he could not meet up, he came to faculty to run for an office. I told him everyone was aware that he didn’t start campaigning until January. Why everybody was campaigning, he did not do anything. The Student Union body had a CGPA requirement of 3.0, but at the faculty level we used 2.5.

I told the woman that I don’t have anything else to say. They should just look inward and find out where they got it wrong. I didn’t even vote. My committee didn’t vote. We only conducted the election and released the result.  Miss Favour, the second candidate for the post of the vice president, had complained that she was unable to vote because of the system indicated that she had already voted. So she was standing somewhere, then I approached her to know why.  I told her that if more than 1000 AFASites were able to vote, how come it came to be that she couldn’t. But we realised she had voted only for the President alone and had made the mistake of submitting and eventually wanted to vote again. Then I told the woman that if she was the only person who had that problem, then she should check herself.  Aderemi said that because of that singular complaint, one petition can nullify every other then. So I just laughed and told the woman that if he can provide another two or three-persons who had similar complaints, then we can now talk about it. But since there was no other person, I don’t have any other thing to do.

AFAS PRESS: What was the final decision?

AFASIEC CHAIRPERSON:  What they told us then was that we should go and they would get back to us. That was from the woman who attended to us on behalf of the Dean of Students’ Affairs.

On the other hand,  I got a message on February 10th, from the Deputy Registrar asking me to comment in written form on the issue surrounding the alleged irregularities and manipulation in the just concluded AFAS election. So this was another one entirely. They’ve not got back to us based on that one. So I typed everything and took it there for submission.

Now I heard that Damilath is now campaigning in the name that there will be another election. He’s already telling people that they should not worry. So I went back to the woman that attended to us from the Student Affairs body that I needed their judgment because we had to move on;  I’m writing my exam, and I don’t want anybody calling me again for any case. The woman said that they would write an official statement on the case but they are yet to do so.

AFAS PRESS: What was the Sub dean’s take on the whole issue when you met him?

AFASIEC CHAIRPERSON: Before this matter got to the Dean of student affairs, Damilath went to the subdean. The Sub dean told him that he did not want to hear anything about it that they should go and face their books and that they were desperate for power. Because the subdean had followed the election, he did not even question me about it.  When the total number of voters’ issue came up, I went to meet him and explained the situation to him.  He was also in the room where the election results were announced.  He said he and the Dean had ruled out the case based on their petition, it was unacceptable to them.

AFAS PRESS: Your departing words

AFASIEC CHAIRPERSON: The obvious truth is that the winner could have been any one of the candidates but someone had to win. With an additional 100 voters the result could have changed and I hope we all learn that true is the word that ”every vote count”.

To Mr. Fransisco who emerged as the winner, I congratulate you and I plead that you fulfill your manifesto as promised the same as the Vice President elect. If there’s one thing the current VP promised, it is sponsorship which she did. Finally, I thank every Afasites for their Support for the success of the faculty election. The Subdean Barrister Olusegun Oke, the faculty Adviser Dr Akewula , The FLC, the executive arm of the association and members of the AFASIEC you guys are the best, plenty love.




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