*Say ‘Chinonso Obasi is our leader’
By Ndubuisi Michaels
There was confusion on Tuesday at the Unity Fountain in Abuja as Nigerian students, numbering over 200, chased away one Aruna Kadiri who was parading himself as President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS).
Kadiri had planned to stage an unauthorised protest against the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the Unity Fountain when the students loyal to the President of NANS, Chinonso Obasi, swooped on him and he fled from the scene.
On hearing of the unauthorised protest, the students moved to the venue to stop the organiser insisting that he does not have the authority to speak on behalf of Nigerian students.
They described Aruna Kadiri as a meddlesome interloper who has consistently tried to cause disaffection in the leadership of the Nigerian students by giving awards to some discredited politicians who are facing criminal cases at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other-Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
While insisting that the authentic President of NANS remained Comrade Chinonso Obasi, they called on Aruna Kadiri to desist from further parading himself as NANS president in his interest.
The dubious activities of the same Aruna Kadiri was said to have been responsible for the cancellation of South Zonal Congress of NANS which held at the Collage of Education, Ilesha, Osun State where he was accused of bribing the Zonal Coordinator and other stakeholders with the sum of N200,000 at the venue of the convention for him to be recognised.
Although he was allowed to speak, Kadiri was said to have fled immediately Obasi, with his Executives, arrived the venue of the convention from Ghana where they had gone to attend the All African Students Union Summit.
The Assistant Secretary General of the Zone, Ademola Hamzat, was said to have taken charge of the accreditation of senators as enshrined in the NANS Charter of Demand and Constitution.
The process of the election of the convention chairman was going on smoothly before Aruna Kadiri allegedly bribed the zonal coordinator and some stakeholders just to enable him address the NANS Senate, a source said.
“While Aruna fled the convention ground on sighting Obasi and his team, the NANS Senators and stakeholders gave the President a rousing welcome.”
A source who witnessed the whole drama said after the election of the convention Chairman, the total number of votes cast was more than the total votes accredited.
“This made the Assistant General Secretary to raise the alarm, the uproar and agitation of the Senators against the bad attitude of the coordinator as he was caught writing votes for a particular candidate was the reason for the cancellation of the convention.
“In keeping with the provisions of the Charter of Demand of NANS, the Assistant Secretary General who is empowered by the constitution of NANS to call for convention has taken charge and discharging his duties appropriately”, the source stated.
In his reaction, Chinonso Obasi informed that due process was being followed to make known the position of NANS on the ongoing ASUU strike.
According to him, an emergency Senate meeting of NANS had been convened to hold in Ilorin, Kwara state on September 7 for the students to take a position.
The communiqué of the senate meeting shall empower the President of NANS to act accordingly.
The Punch newspaper