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Students’ union condemns disruption of ceremony in Uyo

By Emmanuel Elebeke
UYO — The Council of Past National Associa-tion of Nigerian Students  Leaders has condemned  Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, and the Commissioner of Police in the state, over the disruption of the reception organised by NANS in Uyo to honour Etuk Bassey.

Bassey was elected the 24th national President of National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, 30 January 2010.
They stated this in a letter signed by Uzor George, Chairman, Council of Past Leaders; Bukina Shola, former Olabisi Onabanjo University  President/Secretary, Council of NANS Past Leaders and Comrade Splendor Esadelor, former National Association of Polytechnic Students Senate President 2008/2009.

The Presidency, the National Assembly, Chief Justice of the Federation, the National Security Adviser, Inspector-General of Police, Director-General of State Security Services, the Peoples’ Democratic Party, Nigerian Labour Congress, Nigerian Bar Association, Congress of National Political Parties, Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and all African Students’ Union, AASU, were copied.

The student body wondered why the governor and the Police Chief could allow the disruption of an event by a non-political and partisan body such as National Association of  Nigerian Students.

To them, the action beat a common sense and their imagination that they  wonder when the duo had become members of NANS, and when the Governor had turned the civil rule in the state into military government or when the two became enemies of Nigerian students.

According to them, the event was organized to honour the duly elected President of Nigerian students in Abuja during the NANS 2009 convention and caused no panic that could warrant the type of brutality the police meted on them.

The election they said was devoid of electoral malpractice as against the spurious speculations made at some quarters because they (Nigerian students) stood against all forms of injustices, manipulations and imposition of a candidate by the Akwa Ibom State Governor to be made NANS President.

They argued that since  Etuk Bassey of University of Uyo was satisfactorily announced by the Nigerian students as the duly elected NANS President for the next Academic year, last year, it beholves on the Nigerian students and NANS leaders to join the good people of Akwa Ibom state to honour him, who happens to be the first Akwa Ibom State indigene to occupy the highest seat of students Movement in Nigeria and in extension Africa.

It will be recalled that on Saturday 30th, January, 2010, over five thousand Nigerian students gathered to celebrate the newly elected NANS President at Daaty Hotel Uyo, Akwa Ibom State when the Commissioner of police in charge of the state via his men stormed the venue and molested , brutalized and attacked unarmed Nigerian students alleging security threat to distablize the state by NANS.

Also, Nigerian police in that same incident claimed that their action came following an  instruction from above which they said was not far from the government of Akwa Ibom state.

In view of this development, the NANS leaders asked: “What connection has the celebration got to do with security threat in the state when the gathering was not a rally, or a press conference, against any sitting governor.”

They also asked of what connection has the kidnaping of  their special guest for their NANS Grand Reception – Major General Edet Akpan (rtd) on Sunday after the day of the incident at Qua Iboe Church in Uyo, killing of three  people  and  injuring of seven persons at same day, and described the act as uncouth, barbaric and uncalled for.

They however,  demanded  immediate answer to what they termed  the brutal action of the Akwa Ibom state Governor and the state commissioner of police.

If the situation is not put under control then, they warned that Akwa Ibom state would witness another Jos crisis which they said NANS does not pray for.


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