The leadership on National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has expressed regret over their inability to convene a national convention that will usher in new leadership of the association.
President of the students body, Danielson Bamidele Akpan in a release on Thursday while emphasising that his administration had a properly spelt out plan to handover to a new leadership upon the expiration of its tenure underlined that the novel coronavirus pandemic has made the convergence of large crowd impossible, adding that the closure of schools is another factor that has led to a shift of convention date earlier fixed for June 19th – 23rd, 2020.
“Students, Senators and Leaders of all students structures, Executives, the Senate secretariat, Zonal structures, JCC and our elder brothers and sisters (our former leaders) & majorly the aspirants, I must inform you all that I am aware of the current concerns, insinuations, agitations, which have been corroborated by the letter from the senate president, and calls from certain quarters as regards transition, tenure of office and allegations of non patronage.
“I am Danielson Bamidele Akpan, your Global President, I will never forget what I represented on that fateful night I was elected. However, I recognize and regret, and strongly apologize to all students and leaders, that the challenge that this most unexpected COVID pandemic currently ravaging the world has done to our administration is not what I represent. Though it was a National Emergency that Nigeria as a nation like rest of the world had to grapple with, it however disrupted the calendar of our transition in obvious ways too numerous to explain.
“As students, I held that we were capable, able, dogged and informed, so we assumed that our exposures and experiences was good enough to handle the outbreak of corona virus from our campuses. I personally challenged the Presidential Task Force and even Ministers for explanations on sudden closure of our Institutions, the resultant effect is evident on our teeming members who are most affected by the measures put in place by the various government’s.
“I must inform you that all efforts to argue from our standpoint were futile.
“Without much ado, the Federal government had insisted the disease was Novel, hence the lockdown to contain the widespread of the disease. Those period however didn’t come easy as the pressure of survival from all corners, the burden to stay alive became instant priorities of government to which enforcements, mobile courts etc. were put in place even interstate lockdown. We had pressure from parents on pensions, salaries for ASUU, plans of virtual education etc. to handle” he explained.
While applauding Nigerian students for the support they have offered him and his EXCO members, Akpan announced that he will be making a public address on the 9th of July 2020 to touch and elucidate on pertinent achievements of the administration he led.
Akpan who denied insinuations that he deliberately wants to perpetuate himself in office stated that the safety of all Nigerian students are paramount to him, maintaining that transition of power is non negotiable.
He said, “To Comrade Aspirants, I feel your pains, your pressures, your wishes as well as the demands placed on you daily by everyone in the course of consultations. Indeed its time up and this is by conscience, I am also constantly reminded, the resumption of school is paramount to Nigerian students and you senators. However, if the Pandemic were to last for a year (God forbid), we cannot be in office for a year. So be rest assured the transition is non negotiable!
“So, I assure you, in the coming days you will begin to witness a properly coordinated engagement leading to our exit. By this we mean steps will be taken towards retaining unity in leadership, hence all leadership structures from JCC, Zonal to the National Body will be consulted which will culminate in a list of CPC that will then ensure all roads to a successful Convention.”
The student leader also announced the death of the pioneer Secretary General of NANS, Comrade Akele Ayodele.
While praying for the peaceful repose of his soul, he expressed the readiness of the association to give the late Ayodele a befitting burial.