A factional president has emerged in what could be seen as a fall-out from the just concluded elections of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS). His name is Gideon Obande.
He alleged that the election, which saw Danielson Bamidele becoming the president-elect was marred by irregularities as there were some individuals who meddled in the process in their attempt to impose “stooges” on all students.
Mr Obande who addressed a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday insisted that he commands the support of two-thirds of the students across the various institutions of higher learning.
EduCeleb.com had earlier reported that the elections were marred by a few irregularities before the announcement of Mr Bamidele who polled 104 of the total 272 votes cast. But Obande had 7 votes based on the announced results.
Obande who attends the same Nasarawa State University, Keffi as the declared president-elect insisted that the election was rigged to favour certain contenders.
He cited the election of the convention chairman who had three more votes than the total accredited voters to back up his claim.
The student politician said thus, “At the NANS convention that just ended, there were attempts to impose, attempts to disrupt the process where some of us who were front-line aspirants were even manhandled by individuals and thugs hired by some persons but we want to thank God that a new leadership has emerged in NANS.”
“The National Association of Nigerian Students at the last convention that just concluded had 272 accredited delegates, and I can say that of this number, we’ll command not less than 2/3rd of the students and their union on the various campuses.
“We make bold to say that because they are aware of the attempt to rig the process because for an accreditation that had 272 delegates, after the election of convention chairman, it rose to 275 delegates, it tells you that there was somebody somewhere that was trying to upturn the outcome of the convention.”
EduCeleb.com recalls that it is not the first time that NANS would be factionalised after an election. The outgoing leadership had two persons laying claim to the presidency – Haruna Kadiri and Nathan Obasi.
Plans upon assumption of office
Meanwhile, the factional president also elucidated his plans for the union. He proposed to be non- partisan in approach and promised to insist on government taking actions to improve the education sector.
“Our leadership is going to offer a new narrative. An end has come to oppression on campuses, an end has come to the infrastructural decadence in our campuses. An end has come to single digit budgetary allocation to education. We are going to interface and engage government where necessary to ensure that we give education a new direction in Nigeria.
“There shall be no oppression of our unions on campuses by vice chancellors, rectors and provosts. There shall be no more intimidation of our students by lecturers, there shall be no more molestation of our students. NANS will cease to be partisan politically, we will play the role of the conscience of the society.
“We will defend democracy, we will defend the freedom of speech, we will defend the independence of the judiciary and ensure that what should be done would be done. We’ll at all times tell whoever is wrong that he is wrong and whoever is right that he or she is right to ensure that Nigeria moves from where it is today to where we want Nigeria to be.”
The faction of Bamidele has not reacted to this development as at the time of filing this report.