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Free for all as Ekiti NUT elects new executive

The Ekiti State wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) elected a new executive on Thursday, amid accusation and counter accusation of manhandling of some of the delegates by security agents.

A group of teachers under the aegis of Progressive Group of NUT, had claimed on Thursday, that three of the union members were injured while two others were arrested and allegedly detained.

A contestant for the position of chairman in the election, Mr Lucas Adu, told newsmen that those arrested were in the custody of the DSS, while the injured were taken to Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH) for treatment.

The aggrieved Adu said the NUT electoral body was  about starting the election when some of his supporters queried the selection of the delegates, and alleged that outgoing chairman, Samuel Akosile and the secretary, Mr Olugbega Ajibade, were behind the alleged shortchanging of his group in the final delegates list, by doctoring it.

He said the group had raised the issue in a petition dated October 25, by one Mr Adeparusi S.T. and addressed to the NUT headquarters in Abuja but that nothing was done to correct the perceived infraction.

Adu said: “We want outright cancellation of this election. They started by doctoring the delegates’ lists.

“For instance, in Ado Local Government, the delegates’ list ought to be 87, they reduced it to  37, because Akosile knew that his group didn’t win in the local government. But he jacked the delegates’ lists in councils where his group won.

However, the secretary of the Ekiti NUT, Mr. Olugbenga Ajibade, denied doctoring the list, saying the State Executive Council of the union agreed on the number of delegates,’ including all the their stakeholders.

Ajibade said: “They shouldn’t have been violent because all of us have been committed to a free and fair election. It is unfortunate because we all agreed to the number of delegates before the election.

“The issue was taken to the state executive council and all the representatives from the 16 local governments were present. At the meeting, the numbers allotted to each council was read out and there was no objection. So, it was wrong for them to come and raise the issue on election day.”

“Thankfully, we have conducted the election according to our constitution. The new chairman is Olugbesan Samuel, a one-time branch chairman of the union and he hails from Ido/Osi Local Government Area of the state.”

A source in the NUT said “the reduction of the delegates was agreed to by everybody because of the economic situation. Four years ago, we had about 450 delegates, while this year, we could only cater for 303, which we all agreed to. As a matter of fact, the primary school where most of the delegates come from was mostly affected because, even as we speak, we borrowed money to conduct the election.”