Former leaders of the National Association of Nigerian Students have waded in to resolve the leadership crisis currently rocking the association over an alleged bribe given to the group by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
SaharaReporters recalled that some members of the association had announced the impeachment of the President, Danielson Bamidele Akpan, and swore in Chidi Ilogebe as the new leader of the organisation.
They accused Bamidele of high-handedness, fraud, misappropriation and diversion of students COVID-19 palliatives.
He was also accused of embezzling $200,000 given to the association by the NNPC.
But the ex-Presidents in a meeting held in Abuja on Thursday registered their discontent with the leadership situation in the association.
They also described the purpoted impeachment of Bamidele as null and void and appealed to all ‘actors to return to status quo before the acclaimed impeachment’.
Comrade Danladi Sunday Oladele, first President of NANS, who spoke to journalists, said all allegations and counter allegations will be resolved internally using dialogue for the sustainance of the organisation’s unity.
Oladele, who served the association in 1980 said, “That the unity of NANS considering past sacrifices of the vision peers and current state of our nation is non negotiable. That having heard all grievances and discussing all towards amicable resolution, the meeting regrets all incidence and decided to resolve all based on merit, forgiveness of one another, atonement where necessary and organisational supremacy.
“That the crisis engulfing NANS is avoidable and all parties to the crisis should sheathe their swords and allow for peace in the interest of Nigerian students who are less than 40 years old that the NANS was founded. That the meeting frowned at the degeneracy and misinterpretation of the Charter of Demand, the original and only constitution of NANS by all aggrieved parties.
“The constitution in Article(8b) under the Convening Authority of the Senate clearly stated the period of closure for the convening of any further Senate meeting once pre-convention Senate session held. The pre-convention is deemed as the last session of the NANS Senate under the leadership of any incumbent Senate President. That session held since March, 2020. Furthermore, the stakeholders noted that opportunities for fair hearing was not adequately granted to the President over allegations leveled against him. Once investigated, he should have been referred to the congress which can only meet at the convention since the Senate can no longer sit.
“The forum also noted that the Convention Planning Committee was duly set up prior to the activities that led to the purported zoom impeachment, therefore, signaling the commencement of full transition process. That NANS cannot within the same executive structure after exhausting legitimate Senate sessions and conduct of the pre-convention Senate meeting remove, suspend or impeach any official save for congressional decision otherwise known as the NANS convention.
“That the purported Zoom Senate meeting is unknown to the constitution of NANS as well as not recognised as a legitimate means of removal, suspension or impeachment of any official let alone the NANS President. That the Zoom impeachment is illegal and constitutes an affront on the collective sensibility of stakeholders and Nigerian students, indeed misleading the entire Nigerian public. That all allegations and counter allegations be resolved internally using dialogue for the sustainance of organisational unity.
“That under no circumstance, relying on the Zone D resolution which resolved to attend a united convention, should anyone, group or stakeholder think, work for or desire a disunited leadership of NANS going forward.
That the Convention Planning Committee set up by the outgoing leadership headed by Comrade Danielson Akpan is legal and fully recognised to facilitate the convention. However, the CPC could be expanded to accommodate more comrades for harmonization and solidification of the unity of NANS. That only one united ground should be adopted as convention venue where the new leadership shall emerge.
“That all ongoing police/legal cases against the leadership, and or any official(s) be henceforth discontinued for peace and unity of NANS and the upcoming generation. That the outgoing leadership should immediately convene a unity/harmonization meeting and resolve all matters within the executive council amicably, revert to status quo ante and ensure unity. That the CPC set up by the outgoing President under the leadership by Comrade Patrick Afubera should intensify efforts at ensuring an all encompassing, free, transparent and fair election to usher in a new set of leadership not later than December, 2020 in accordance with the provisions of the constitution on same. That as former leaders, we reaffirm the leadership of the NANS under Comrade Danielson Akpan as the incumbent President and urge everyone to allow the transition process to go on as planned.”