The National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), has vowed to resist any attempts to proscribe students union activities in polytechnics across the country.
NAPS clarified that the authority of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, has not disbanded students’ union Government over the crisis that erupted on campus on Saturday during the stalemated elections conducted by the students.
The polytechnic had on Sunday placed “embargo” on students union activities after the students protested over alleged manipulation of their election by the management.
Addressing a press conference in Ado Ekiti on Monday, the NAPS National Senate President, Comrade Sunday Adekanbi in collaboration with Civil Society groups, said they agreed with the action taken by the management of the Polytechnic, suspending election on campus pending the time there will be a peaceful atmosphere.
The NAPS passed a vote of confidence on the management for the prompt action that averted a crisis on the day of the election but said this would not be an excuse for the authority to ban unionism outrightly.
He said the action taken by the Rector, Dr Hephzibah Oladebeye when the election was perceived to have been marred with irregularities, thereby leading to unrest campus, helped to checkmate violence that could lead to loss of lives and property.
He said, “The Polytechnic didn’t ban unionism, it only suspended the election for the sake of peace. The NAPS leadership was on ground to observe the election and we saw how students carried sticks and bottles when they sensed that election has been compromised.
“But the management did not ban unionism neither did it embargo it, it was only suspended for a while. What Ado Polytechnic Electoral Commission (APECO) did by allowing over voting to the extent that the votes were more than the numbers of accredited students made the authority to take the action.
“Only the electioneering process was embargoed because it was degenerating into anarchy and not unionism. NAPS leadership won’t be a party to such and will not tolerate prescription or banning of unionism on any campus.”
The NAPS leader said it is on record that the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti remains under Oladebeye has maintained a culture of prudence, transparency and innovation to strengthen President Muhammadu Buhari’s quest for a better Nigeria.