Saturday, 3 February 2018

INTERVIEW : Miss Manyo explains how she emerged President, Niger Delta Stu Union Gov't (NIDSUG)

31 January 2018 

You know in this part of the world, we tend to agitate a whole lot for our rights, we don't want to be marginalized and all of those things. But by the time we are given an opportunity, we tend to be the same people who want to destroy the little platform that have been set up for us to come and make ourselves or our point known —President Manyo

Miss Juliet Manyo the Executive President of Niger Delta Students Union Government (NIDSUG) recently granted NegroidHaven an interview bordering on how she emerged the president of the Union. She's has narrated how NIDSUG evolved to have a parallel government. And how she's managing it. Meanwhile, Wednesday, 31st January was Miss Manyo's birthday! 

NH : Happy birthday Madam President and Good afternoon. Can we meet you, please?
MANYO : Good afternoon. My name is Comrade Juliet Manyo. The National President of Niger Delta Students' Union Government (NIDSUG). I am from Cross River state. 

NH : Congratulations Madam President. Can you narrate to the audience a rundown of how you emerged the National President of NIDSUG?
MANYO : Thank You. I didn't  just come from nowhere to become the president of NIDSUG. I have followed the trend of student unionism, I have served in several capacity. I felt I was ripe or well equipped to become the National President of NIDSUG. 

Previously, I served as Vice President of National Association of Cross River State Students Worldwide (NACRISS WW) and then moved forward to becoming the National Treasurer of NIDSUG in the past administration. After serving there, I thought I had gathered enough experience and knew the plight of Nigerian students, I know what we need and I think I also have what it takes to lead them in the Capacity of the President and that is how I decided to run for the elections.

The election was held in Rivers State, Port Harcourt, to be precise. I attended the convention stood with one other guy called Jungo who also ran the election. There was one other guy who was suppose to run the election but I don't know, along the line, may be he felt threatened or so and left. So, I and the other guy stood the elections. And by God's grace I emerged the president of NIDSUG through a free and fair elections.

NH : Can you tell us the date of this elections?
MANYO  : The convention took place on the 10th of November 2016

NH : The Electoral committee was chaired by who?
MANYO  : It was chaired by Jeremiah Buma

NH : Who constituted that particular electoral committee? 
MANYO  :The out-gone president. The name is comrade Obada Akpomeme from Delta State. That is the 3rd NIDSUG president. I happen to be the fourth.

NH : Ok. Can  you also tell us about. Do you still remember the votes, the total number of votes that you...
MANYO  : (cuts in) Oh!  I don't think I will be able to give you. I don't want to make mistakes; I think we shouldn't go there.

NH : And the swearing-in took place where?
MANYO  : It took place in Cross River State; it's like a tradition. It has always been like that : Where ever the president emerges from, I mean whichever State he/she comes from, that is where the inauguration will be done. Irrespective of where the election was done?

So, the election was done in Rivers State and the inauguration was conducted in Cross River state at UNICAL CES Auditorium, on the 18th of November 2016.

To add further, in my elections we had the Presidents of States Associations who came as observers and we also had the legal adviser of the Union in person of Barr. Calada who was around to observe the election and finally congratulated me for winning the election.

NH : Madam President Thank you for those details but are aware that there's a parallel government in NISUG? Can you explain what's actually the challenge necessitating a parallel government? 
MANYO  : Well, I won't say there's a parallel government per se, I will say there's a distraction and it did not just start in my tenure, it started in the tenure before mine where I served as the national treasurer.

You know in this part of the world, we tend to agitate a whole lot for our rights, we don't want to be marginalized and all of those things. But by the time we are given an opportunity, we tend to be the same people who want to destroy the little platform that have been set up for us to come and make ourselves or our point known. 

It all started in Comr. Obgada Akpomeme's administration where the then Commissioner of NDDC, the Chairman and his SA on Youths and Students of NDDC Commissioner. 

I may not want to mention names, but the then administration. The guy did not help us. We have been sending letters of problems that concerns the welfare of the students. But they blatantly refused to attend to us. When they refused to attend to us, the then president thought it wise to accost them in one event they went in Abia State. 

They went to commission a hostel and the president also led a delegation there to agitate for the right of the students. When they got there. He was called to a corner and bribed by the then SA and he said it is not going to be about him and that it is about the students, then he decided he wasn't going to take any bribe. That was how the general public knew what they were going through. 

In the course of doing that the guy felt embarrassed and when he came back the guy called for a meeting excluding the president. It held in Landmark Hotel, Port Harcourt. I was invited for the meeting but having served in different associations and in different capacities, I understood where it was all driving to since I have been detailed with what took place so I decided to take myself away from that. Few of us did not partake in whatever coup they were trying to plan against my president but some of them, majority —off course you know students especially the hungry ones who haven't gotten opportunity to see some cash so they just felt everything. 

In fact, they have met their dreams. They went there, were given some stipends and then they took take some rash decision and even those decisions such that it was not very well guided, that's the mistake they made, it wasn't guided. 

The man in question. That was when he knew he was supposed to give them some money(s) these money(s) that we had been agitating for and he refused to give but then he started giving it to individuals so that they can impeach the president. You know all those things came up with this problem. That was where the problem all started from and since then, they have been coups upon coups. But then the Commission, as God may have it now wiped everybody from that commission and then brought in a caretaker committee. When they came, they saw that the whole thing was not right, the way they even went about the whole thing was not right. It was all false. So the now said everybody should soft pedal and lets see how we can move the union forward. 

Before then our tenure had elapsed so now said let us see how we can come in, bring in a new executives on board —that was how I emerged. 

The president now set up the electoral committee and since I was not part of them in the other arrangement, so they felt it shouldn't be me, it should be someone else, and so when I emerged, they decided to do another election after my election. After my election and inauguration they did theirs.

NH : This new election, where was it conducted? 
MANYO : The purported election was held in Imo state. 

NH: Was  there an electoral committee for the purported election?
MANYO : I do not know about that. But from some sources I understand that there were no such elections in Imo state. I learnt they were just a group of people who went there and started fighting. Off course people who are money driven, there is no way you see them in a gathering  that there won't be problem. So there were issues upon issues such that two presidents were said to emerged from the same camp.

NH : What are their names?
MANYO  : One of them is Comrade Ndifon Daniel and the other is comrade John Edom Smart. So and if you see their election, according to them the list of people that came out successful from the election you will see there are two different list and in that two different list, there  are two different presidents with the same list of executives.

NH: Do you have documents?
MANYO  : They are there, they are online, they are on Facebook. I can download them. I could send them to you.

It is very disheartening that we as youths we are indulging in this kind of things, it is not really nice, it's bad because the elders we are criticising, see it, they know our own is going to be worst than theirs. But I pray God helps us to be out of this on one way or the other.

NH : Thank you very much Madam. 
MANYO : I decided not to even look at them because that's what my predecessor did. He took time trying to correct things instead doing what is supposed to be done originally. The only way it affects me as a person and it affects NIDSUG greatly is that the little funds we were suppose to be getting from the people or from Parastatals or commissions like NDDC, we can't access them because we are not in unity and you know this sentiment. This one will want to favour this one because this one is from his/her place and this one is trying to favour this one and so the mix...

The conflict of... (Manyo laughs) how do I put it so that you don't misunderstand me. They tend not to attend to anybody so that they don't get into problem because so many people are waiting for the problems.

NH: So you are saying that NDDC has refused to identify with any NIDSUG Executive?
MANYO : Yes off course! 

NH: Whether valid or invalid?
MANYO : Yes, they have been dragging their feet on that. I have made several attempts to get to them 

NH: Who have you actually made attempt to see?
MANYO : The SA Youth and Student and then I have also sent letters and text messages to the Chairman. I haven't gotten any response till now.

NH: You have documents?
MANYO : Why not

NH : You will be willing to provide those documents?
MANYO  : The documents I sent to them?

NH:  Yea
MANYO : Why not? I have them. 
So, That's just where we are, but I do not think that it is over yet, I'm still pushing, I'm still pushing because I haven't given up ye. I'm still pushing very hard to see how we can achieve all our plans. 

NH : Thank you so much for your time and happy birthday once again. 
MANYO : Thank you too. 

Efio-Ita Nyok
Is a Blogger, the Editor-in-Chief & Publisher of NegroidHaven 

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