A 300 level student of mass communication, at University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), Manifest Eja has become the first visually impaired student to represent his department at his faculty level. This threw his Faculty Staff Adviser, Mr Ambrose Onu in awe as he commends him and challenged other students to see him as motivation.
Manifest Eja officially became one of the appointed members of House of Representatives Mass Communication department, with other two representatives Daniel Orji-Kalu and Eleanor Onyinyechi on Jan. 17th.
The Faculty Staff Adviser commended his courageous step during an interview with our correspondent on Friday, Jan. 20th 2023 in his office. He stated that other students do not need more encouragement than Eja’s picture in the Students Parliament.
“If he can do it then who can’t? Most people don’t expect anything from physically challenged persons but Eja proved them wrong,” he said.
Mr. Onu who was also the Faculty Electoral Commission (FECO) chairman during the last successful election, stated assuredly that he is certain that Eja’s contributions in the House of Rep are going to be ground breaking and outstanding judging from his interactions with him so far.
He said, “ I was there at his inauguration on Tuesday, on 17th of January. I spoke with him and from his responses you’ll understand that he will be one of the key players in the students’ parliament.
“I remember the Speaker of the House coming to me to commend him for his activeness. Do not be surprised if he is given an elevated position and he will enormously continue from there.”
The History lecturer continued saying, “ there’s something about visually impaired people. You can not take everything from them, they do not see but other sense organs are very active.
According to him, Eja is the eyes and ears of mass communication within the student union government. “Through him, the interest of the department will be represented,” he added.
Eja being the first physically challenged to represent his department at the faculty level, during our correspondent’s discussion with him shared that his mission is accomplished and he’s fulfilled but explained that it does not stop there.
Our correspondent also gathered through Eja that he is not the first visually impaired to participate in politics in the school at large. Chidozie Obiano of 2018 in Faculty of Social Sciences, Ogechi Agatha 2018, Demola Adeleke former Mass communication departmental P.R.O, Jeff who ran for Students Union Government Director of Socials but came second and others.
He stated that prior to now, he came to school to study but started understanding students politics and gave it a try. “There are lot of things to work on with limited time. We will check from previous administrations what they have, check if we can amend it or bring in new things,” Eja added.
On the other hand, the faculty Staff Adviser also shared his journey from the day he was appointed by the Dean of the faculty, Prof. Paul Obi-Ani after the deanship election in July 2022, and how it will effect positive change in the affairs of students representation at the faculty level.
Commenting on the dwindling students representation in past year, Onu revealed that he will ensure that the past glory of the students representation be re-energized.
The staff adviser said, “I threw it open for every students for equal representation, be it visually impaired, crippled etc to be part of the system. This is because if you discriminate, they will continue to see themselves rejected by the society. Physically challenged people have their own rights.”