July 10, 2024

NANS threatens to stop NIPOGA over alleged bias 


By Davies Iheamnachor

The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has alleged bias in the organisation and hosting of the Nigeria Polytechnic Games, NIPOGA, threatening to disrupt it if the hosting right for the 2024 edition of the game is not reversed to the original plan.

The student union, however, vowed to storm the office of Minister for Sports and Education in Abuja with protest if the hosting of the 204 edition is not returned to Delta State, noting that the All Polytechnic game has not been hosted in any school in the South-South Region for four decades.

Speaking during a World Press Conference in Port Harcourt, the Coordinator, NANS Zone B (South South) Secretariat, Levi Okuru, said at the end of the last edition of the biennial event that it was resolved that Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku, should host the festival to allow South-South region host for the first time and that the flag marking the hosting right was handed to the Rector of the Delta Polyphonic who also was chosen to President of the game as guiding principle demands.

Okuru noted that the Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku, has since concluded all preparations for the hosting, but the institution was greeted with a sudden change of venue by some members of the COHEADS, describing the development as unacceptable.

He noted that the development was an act of intimidation against the polytechnic in Delta State, adding that the COHEADS has only shown bias by moving the game fixed January 2023 to hold at Delta State back Federal Polytechnic, Offa Kwara, in Kwara State where it was last held.

“The National Association of Nigerian Students, South-South Zone, categorically rejects the decision to host the Nigeria Polytechnic Games (NIPOGA) in Kwara State, instead of Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku. As an association wè insist that the games must be held in Delta State as originally planned.

“We express the students’ dissatisfaction with the sudden change of venue by some members of the COHEADS. The decision to move the games to Kwara State is ill timed, biased and made without consulting the stakeholders, particularly the students, who are the main participants in the event.

“The sudden change of venue is unacceptable to us, and we demand an immediate reversal of the decision. Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku, has invested heavily in preparations for the games, and shifting the venue to Kwara State at this late hour will cause unnecessary inconveniences to the students and the institution.”

He noted that the South-South Zone of NANS has always been committed to promoting the welfare and interests of Nigerian students, and would not fold its arms while the rights of its members are trampled upon, stating that NANS would take all necessary step to stop the game in Kwara State if the COHEADS does not reverse it to Delta State.

Okuru said: “On this note we wish to state that if the decision is not reversed, the association will be forced to take drastic measures to ensure that the rights of its members are protected.

“This yeár’s edition was originally scheduled to hold at Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku, in accordance with the constitution of NIPOGA which mandates the President to be the host of the games and the Rector of Delta State Polytechnic Ogwashi-Uku (Prof. Builder Emmanuel Achuenu) is the current President, but the sudden change of venue has sparked controversy among the students.

“We wish to state unequivocally without fear or favour that there will be no NIPOGA games if Delta State Polytechnic Ogwashi-Uku is not the host institution for the 22nd edition as we shall mobilize all our students and structures to stampede any other venue.”