FijiFirst General-Secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum
FijiFirst General-Secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says he is not surprised about a statement circulating among University of the South Pacific students and staff urging them to vote for any political party other than FijiFirst.
The purported release called on students not to waste their votes on FFP, smaller parties, and independent candidates.
In response, Sayed-Khaiyum says he has not seen a copy of the statement, but it is obvious that even the Vice-Chancellor of USP, Professor Pal Ahluwalia, is politically motivated.
“He’s been for a number of months even when he was here, making a number of political statements favoring one party over the other having a particular proclivity, which is really something that should not be happening by a vice chancellor trying to use that position to influence students. As you also hear there’s a lot of misinformation about USP. You know, the hierarchy of USP going around telling students, we don’t have enough of this, enough of that, you know, visits are canceled because of the Fijian government not giving the grants, I mean a whole lot of baloney.”
Sayed-Khaiyum adds that students need to understand that the government has requested an independent investigation be conducted after allegations of financial discrepancies were raised by the University’s pro-chancellor and the chair of the audit risk committee.
The FijiFirst GS adds that the grants will be automatically released after the investigations are carried out, as the government has a responsibility to taxpayers to ensure that the money given is not siphoned off.
Meanwhile, USP stated that the statement was not issued by the university or through any of its official channels.
USP clarified that it is not aligned with any political party and has not issued any statements to its students in support of, or against any political party.