By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – Ahead of the inauguration of the ninth National Assembly next month, the National Association of Nigerian Students NANS on Thursday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to call the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Adams Oshiomhole to order over his alleged plans to impose principal officers on the assembly.
The student body which protested at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja also asked the party to hold a National Executive Committee NEC meeting where the party’s chairman should be so cautioned.
The student leaders carried placards with inscriptions such as “No to open balloting at 9th Senate and Reps election”, “Asiwaju Tinubu, as a democrat, allow each candidate to ride on his/ her credibility”, “Adams Oshiomhole, you are derailing our hard-earned democracy” among others, also took a copy of the protest letter to Lagos House in Asokoro, for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Addressing journalists during the protest, NANS Senate President, Gambo Mohammed, noted that the federal character principle suggests that no part of the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria be marginalized especially with regards to principal positions of the National Assembly.
Presenting an eight-paragraph protest to a representative of APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Mohammed said that students are interested in politics because human beings are political animals and the 2019 general elections suggested that youths represented a greater percentage of registered voters in the country.
The letter reads in part: “The leadership of the Senate NANS, acting closely with the Coalition of Youths Organization, having met and thoroughly examined the underlying dynamics in the election of the 9th National Assembly, and arising from a critical stakeholders meeting where it deliberated on matters arising at the National Assembly, have resolved that our lives begin to end the day we keep mute on the things that matter to us.
“History has it that the imposition of candidates was a key factor that destroyed the PDP, thus NANS Senate hereby cautions the leadership of APC to thread carefully on the imposition of sponsored candidates as this negatively impacts their ratings and public image, while threatening the coherence of the 9th National Assembly.
“Having zoned the Senate presidency to the North East, in accordance with the preamble of the APC constitution, the best practice is to allow all inherently qualified members thereto to participate in the election. NANS Senate is well aware of the inherent imposition which holds sway at party levels, but is of the position that party politics imposition is not superior to what is constitutionally established.
“While NANS Senate is of the opinion that the leadership of the National Assembly at all times should be a matter with no bearing on party imposition, it concedes that our experience as a people has been that the majority party holds the trump card in these matters as stated earlier. This reiteration is to drive home the point that Nigerians are looking up to the APC to set the right template for emulation by other arms and tiers of government.”