Members of the Nigerian academia have come out to condemn former ASUU and INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega for a derogatory statement he directed at them weeks ago concerning their part in the February presidential elections. Jega had accused high standing members of ASUU, including professors and VCs of falling short of honesty and aiding rigging processes during the election.
Some of them spoke whilst pleading for anonymity, but Head of Department of Political Science, Babcock University, Ilishan Remo, Ogun State, Prof. Abiodun Michael Oni, stated: “Nobody directed any lecturer to rig any election. But there are individual differences. We have people with integrity among us and we have people without integrity; there is no doubt about that. But having said that, the number of lecturers that were involved in electoral malpractices might be less than 10 per cent of those that were called to serve.”
“I support calls for the investigation of the lecturers that participated in the elections and anyone found guilty should be fired. Thank God that many of them are Federal Government employees. So, they should be investigated and if found culpable should be shown out of the way.”
Former Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oye Ibidapo-Obe, stated “I think that allegation is not correct; these are men of integrity,”
Prof. Gordini G. Darah of Delta State University, Abraka, stated also that If it was Prof. Attahiru Jega who made the allegation, then it was an act of hypocrisy. I say this because it is disrespectful on the part of Jega to make a general statement that criminalises academics. If he had specified the ward, voting unit or state and then identified the names of those academics, then it will be possible to investigate the allegation. We don’t know what he means by rigging of the election. Rigged in favour of who? In favour of Buhari? He ought to indicate on behalf of whom the rigging was done. If he didn’t indicate that, then he was making a cheap political statement.”