Physical Sciences a section of the National Association of Science Students (NASS), Obafemi Awolowo University, have commenced plans towards secession from the body over a controversial electoral decision.
Physical sciences cited gross constitutional breaches and partisan politics by the electoral umpire at the November 22nd elections which held at the faculty, as the major grievances.
A written statement made public by a yet to be verified source stated that “It is no longer hearsay that the elections conducted on the 22nd of November 2019 had the positions of the Vice president, Treasurer, Public Relations Officer, and Financial Secretary declared inconclusive and the discrepancies that ensued as a result of the desperation for power displayed by some honorable from biological sciences at the level of the Departmental Representative Council, where they suspended a part of the constitution that emphasizes the processes elections must follow for the voices of all parties involved to be heard. These honorable from biological sciences have succeeded in drawing us back to the problems that were faced at the early days of NASS.”
The statement concluded by stating thus, “this is to state categorically that the following departmental associations: IFEGSS OAU, SCSN OAU, NAMSSN OAU & PEPSA OAU are no longer part of NASS.”
In a conversation with a reliable source, we gathered that the constitution provides that before being declared as a winner, the candidate must have (A) 40% in 5 constituencies (B) In case of tie in A above, candidates with the highest number of constituency win shall be declared winner,
(C) In case of tie in A & B above, candidates with the largest number of votes shall be declared winner.
(D) In case of tie in A, B and C above, a rerun should be conducted within one week after the initial election.
In this case, we gathered that some of the candidates had 40% in 4 departments/constituencies instead of 5 as prescribed by the constitution. The constitution didn’t provide for cases where a tie is nonexistent and a candidate is having 40% in less than 5 constituencies. However, the house ordered the Electoral Committee to go on with the other process. The winner was determined with the third process, largest number of votes – which ended up favouring the biological sciences, a section with the most population by far. Physical sciences argued that a continuation was wrong because there was no tie and since the constitution didn’t provide for cases like this, there should have been a rerun.
According to the source, “a rerun could have been pushed for but they were hell bent on suspending the first part of the procedures.” The source also confirmed to our correspondent that plans are already in place to get a new association for the physical sciences advising biological sciences to do the same.
Responding to the reaction of students to the new developments so far, the source stated that it has been sensible, adding that they also have the support of the staff who believe the move is long overdue.
The Physical sciences comprises of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Geology while Biological Sciences comprises Microbiology, Botany, Zoology, Biochemistry.
Meanwhile, chairperson, electoral committee, in conversation with our correspondent, said the committee was ordered by the house to continue with the process – even though the constitution says that should only happen if there is 40% in 5 constituencies each. He further reiterated that he only recognizes the NASS as the legitimate body.
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