As the crisis that surrounded the national convention of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) thickens, a contestant for the highest office of the Association, Comrade Obande George Obande has declared himself winner and President.
Briefing newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, Obande who declared himself winner promised that the association will no longer indulge in partisan politics.
He said that in spite of the rancor and attempted candidate imposition that surrounded the elections, he (Obande) had emerged as President.
His declaration is coming even before the Convention Planning Committee’s official announcement of the election winners.
Speaking to our correspondent on telephone, out-going President of the Association, Comrade Chinonso Obasi admitted that there were issues surrounding the elections that are yet to be sorted out,
He however said that a winner was yet to be announced, adding that once the planning committee concludes its work, a winner would be announced.
However, in his declaration, the new factional president who joins some other earlier self-declared Presidents, claimed that he had the backing of two-third of all the higher institutions in Nigeria.
“It is with pleasure that I wish to appreciate the support of all Nigerian towards the actualization of the just concluded convention.
“In as much as there were rancor and attempts to impose or disrupt the convention, some of us who were front line aspirants were manhandled by thugs, we want to thank God that finally a new leadership has emerged in NANS.
“It is a statement of fact that Nigerian students are going to turn a new leaf and our leaders are going to offer a new narrative.
“We are convinced that there is need to make reference to the past, permit me to dedicate my victory and name my secretariat, Comrade Donald Onukagu Secretariat.
He said that Comrade Donald was a former speaker of NANS who died in active service.
Speaking further on his plans as the new ‘President’ of the students’ body, he said that his emergence will herald an end to oppression of the students’ body in campuses.
“I want to assure you all that an end has come to oppression on campuses, an end has come to infrastructural decadence, and an end has come to single digit budgetary allocation to education.
“We are going to interface with government and engage the government when necessary to ensure that education has a new direction.
“I wish to state categorically that Nigeria is a co-signatory to the UNESCO convention that states that education is a right not a privilege, we shallclamour for it.
“There shall be no more oppression of our unions by Vice Chancellors, there shall be no more intimidation of our students by lecturers and no molestation of our students.
“The Nigeria Association of Nigerian Students shall henceforce cease to be politically partisan.
“We will defend democracy, we will defend the freedom of speech and the independence of the judiciary
“We will make bold at every point to tell truth to power to ensure that Nigeria moves from where it is to where it should be,” he said.