Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Former presidents of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) have waded in to resolve the leadership crisis in the Association.
As stakeholders in NANS, the ex-presidents registered their discontent with the looming leadership situation in NANS over the continued stay in office by the President, Bamidele Akpan.
Bamidele reportedly assumed office as NANS President on 9th July 2018, for a 12-month tenure but was said to have served past his tenure, causing officials and other stakeholders to complain over his prolonged stay in office.
Ex NANS president Tijani Usman Shehu, in a statement issued on behalf of others, confirmed that a letter written by the Council of NANS Zonal Coordinators, addressed to the Senate President, Gambo Abubakar Mohammed, condemning Bamidele’s continuous stay in office after his tenure had expired without a plan for transition, was received by Ex-President’s Forum and actions are being taken.
He, however, appealed to parties and aggrieved members to sheath their sword as the ex-presidents have unanimously agreed to meet with all the stakeholders in Abuja next week to resolve all issues concerning the 2020 NANS National Convention.
He explained that the meeting is necessary in order to avert the looming crisis in NANS, ‘because Bamidele’s stay in office for 23 months as against the constitutional 12 months tenure is a clear invitation to the crisis.’
Meanwhile, the immediate Past President of NANS, Chinonso Obasi, in his submission said that after studying the letter by the Council of Zonal Coordinators, he was convinced of an inevitable future crisis owing to the capacity and territorial authorities and power of the coordinators in NANS.
He explained: ‘In my 12 months in office as NANS President, I held a media briefing regularly to give an account of stewardship. And I officially declared an end to my administration as stipulated by NANS Charter and Demands at the end of the 12 months.
‘It wasn’t suitable for me then, but as a leader, your powers, guide and manual for operation is drawn from the constitution. Our charter stipulates 12 months tenure which I was ready to comply with, but the processes to convey the unity which NANS enjoy today ate into a few months.
‘I expected the current president, Bamidele, to do better because we gave him all the comfort and the sacrifices that myself and Aruna Kadiri made for unity, but we were all disappointed with his high-handedness.’
He, however, confirmed that other ex-presidents of the Association, notably, Jude Imagwe, Femi Osabinu, Wole Badmus, Aruna Kadiri, Yinka Gbadebo and Ali Kano, the ex-senate president of the Association, have all given their consent and unanimous endorsement for a stakeholders meeting to draw a road map for the 2020 NANS National Convention.