History was made at theUniversity of Benin, Edo state when a student, Lauretta Obakpolor was elected the first ever female president of the Students’ Union Government (SUG).
Student emerges first female SUG president
“To all those who are sceptical about a female being a president, I say we have crossed the Rubicon. Those people need to read the Bible and learn about the story of Deborah."
A 500-level student of the school, Ezekiel Efeobhokhan reported that Obakpolor, a 400-Level Pharmacy student beat five other candidates with 2,283 votes to win the coveted position.
TheNation reported that excited shouts of her name rented the air as soon as she was declared winner by the electoral committee. Her supporters moved round the campus singing victory songs.
She was also reportedly not encouraged from the very start, but as soon as she unveiled her programme on Manifesto Day, she was greeted with applause. The same could not be said for other candidates.
Emeka Onyeji, a final year student of Economics and Statistics, said: “When I heard Lauretta speak for the first time at the manifesto, I knew there was more to the aspiration of this lady than just being a candidate. Immediately she mounted the podium, every word from her wowed the audience. We believed she has good plans for the union. This is why we all voted for her.”
The other candidates Obakpolor had to compete with were Victor Arigbe of the Faculty of Education; Nelson Ehrauyi (Faculty of Engineering), Efosa Iyekekpolor (Faculty of Education), Godstime Oghogho (College of Medicine) and Leslie Oghama (Faculty of Social Sciences).
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Faraday Orumwense spoke to the students during the elections.
He said, “I congratulate you on your election, but you must know leadership comes with responsibility. In the period of grievances, I will advise you to seek all known channels of dialogue and peaceful resolution. In every decision you take, endeavour to carry your colleagues along.”
Obakpolor, in her acceptance speech, said “To all those who are sceptical about a female being a president, I say we have crossed the Rubicon. Those people need to read the Bible and learn about the story of Deborah. This is another Deborah standing in front of you today. I bear the plight of a woman and understand the pains of a man. Leadership is not about gender. I seek the support of all as we take the union to another level.”
The outgone president, Raymond Omorogbe, congratulated his successor, urging the union to sustain peace on the campus.
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