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*My leadership ‘ll engage FG, ASUU to end ongoing strike,says new president

By Joseph Erunke, ABUJA

THE National Association of Nigerian Students,NANS,on Saturday,elected Comrade Umar Faruk Lawal, from Bayero University,Kano,as its new president.

Lawal takes over from Sunday Asefon,whose tenure has come to an end.

He was declared as winner of the unions’s election held at the Old Parade Ground, Abuja

The new NANS president, speaking at a press conference after his victory,vowed to make students issues his priorities.

Expressing concern over the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU,Lawal disclosed that his leadership would soon engage both the federal government through the Minister of Education and the leadership of ASUU with a view to ending the strike so that students can return to their schools.

NANS,he said, would no longer indulge in partisan politics just as he said the new NANS under his watch would collaborate with security agencies to brainstorm and proffer workable templates for the security of lives and properties in our beloved nation.

He thanked all Nigerian students who supported him in the past one week to ensure his victory, vowing never to let Nigerian students down.

“I want to use this opportunity to let the public know that we have a new NANS. I am the newly elected president of NANS.

“I want to use this privilege to appreciate all Nigerian students that supported me for the past one week,for deeming it fit to stay in Abuja to make sure that they elect a new leadership under my watch. Indeed,I appreciate all Nigerian students,leaders and my convention leaders here that pasis through these processes to elect me as NANS president.

“It’s a new dawn for NANS as students will go back to campus. We will not allow anybody to sell our organisation for anything. I urge all Nigerian students to have hope in this my leadership, that very soon,we will meet with the leadership of ASUU and the federal government to see that Nigerian students go back to their campuses.

“The Minister of Education,we are by this informing you that NANS has a new leadership and that very soon,we will come for a meeting with you and the leadership of ASUU,so that students go return to schools,”he said.

In a statement he further released,the new NANS president,allegef that ” there were some destructive elements that tried to shortchange the general will of Nigerian students during the process of the just concluded convention.”

The statement read, “I will start by expressing my profound gratitude to Allah, who has been with us throughout this turbulent journey. I sincerely appreciate the esteemed Senators of our dear organization; NANS who have stood on the path of honour regardless of the hurdles.

“To the stakeholders who have upheld the true tenets of our founding fathers; Your efforts are well appreciated. To my co-contestants, we have all given a good fight and agree that it is the time to forge ahead.My election as President of our beloved organization; the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), marks the beginning of a new era of struggle, this is indeed a REVIVIFICATION AGENDA as we are set to revive the lost glory of our organization. It is high time we rejigged the dreams of our founding fathers for a better education system in Nigeria.

“Although there were some destructive elements that tried to shortchange the general will of Nigerian students during the process of the just concluded convention, they formed oppression and tried to buy the students’ mandate, they orchestrated different vicious plans that were inimical to the existence of our organization, but with the support of genuine students and NANS Senators, light conquered the darkness. Our victory is blossoming, and it comes with great glory.

“Let me take you a bit down a historical lane. The struggle for emancipation of Nigerian students started with the creation of the West African Students Union (WASU) under our erudite ancestor, Ladipo Solanke, in 1925. The establishment of University College Ibadan in 1945 begot a new era of struggle as the National Union of Nigerian Students (NUNS) replaced WASU.“It is disheartening to see university students at home for the past 6 months. The fact that the leadership of ASUU and the Federal government have held a series of meetings without a fruitful outcome is heartbreaking, NANS, under my leadership, is ready to be the genuine voice of the Students in this negotiation as we demand an immediate end to the prolonged industrial actions, Failure to have resolution within the shortest period available will be faced with decisive action from Nigerian Students.”

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