A nongovernmental organisation has called on authorities of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), to terminate the services of Dr. Nnaemeka Ogbene, the Computer Science lecturer allegedly in the middle of the election manipulation scandal in Enugu State.
Oluwakemi Roland, founder and Executive Director of Odara Foundation, said the university authorities must act quickly to preserve the integrity of the academia as well as protect vulnerable students from a man, who according to her, has no scruples and could also possibly compromise the integrity of university examinations and other academic qualification tests.
Roland, who said her organisation is scandalized by what she described as the flagrant abuse of electoral processes during the recently concluded Enugu State Governorship elections, wondered how a university lecturer would allegedly involve in the manipulation of voter numbers with such impunity and still be allowed to return to teach students.
“We have followed the developments in the Enugu State Gubernatorial elections, which held on March 18, 2023, with keen interest and feel compelled to speak on the disturbing roles played by university lecturers, because of what we see as their direct roles in the character formation of our children and impressionable young adults,” she said.
Roland said her organisation finds it “extremely disturbing that a lecturer of Computer Science would be involved in such purported manipulation of figures. We have since read, and our investigations have confirmed, that the election results in Nkanu East Local Government Area of the state, was grossly inflated to favour one political party. In this Local government area, the Returning Officer, one Dr. Nnaemeka Ogbene, entered a figure of slightly above 32,000 for total votes cast in an election where only 7,435 voters were captured to have legally and lawfully participated in the voting process.”
Continuing, she said: “Election malpractices is what we are dealing with, and any lecturer who involves in it, will have no scruples engaging in examination malpractices in the university. Election malpractices, as far as we are concerned, I examination malpractices on a larger scale. A perpetrator of one must, as a matter of process, graduate from the other. This is why we see what happened in Enugu as red flag, and the university authorities must do all in its powers to ensure that our young students are protected from being toxified by lecturers of such bankrupt morals.”
Wondering how Dr. Ogbene was able to make 32,000 votes out of a total of just above 7,000 accredited voters, Roland said the person responsible for such an act lacks character and should not be allowed to stand before students as teacher and role model.
“We are aware that the University of Nigeria Nsukka prides itself as an institution whose motto is “To Restore the Dignity of Man,” but the situation before us where a lecturer with such base morals has not only challenged the dignity of mankind as a whole, but also put the university before the entire world, calls for urgent and decisive action. Everyone is watching to see how this great citadel of learning responds to such a crushing moral and integrity challenge. It must live up to its name and mantra by weeding out Dr Ogbene and other bad examples like him, who neither have personal integrity nor care about the dignity of mankind that the university espouses,” the Executive Director stated.
The statement, which described Dr. Ogbene’s action as shameful, also said the excuses given by the Returning Officer for the discrepancies in the results he turned was untenable, insisting it was incumbent on the university don to have taken every step that would have ensured that the integrity of the voter data he was turning in was sacrosanct.
“We need to protect our children from moral pollutants like Dr Ogbene. We need to keep him and his likes as far away from our children as we possibly can. Character is infectious, and when a bad character is a person who dispenses knowledge to young people, we then have a big problem in our hands,” she said