Election Shift Is A Coup Against Nigeria, Say NANS Leaders (Full Text Of Press Conference)

The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”——–Albert Einstein

All protocols observed

1. NANS CONDEMN THE POSTPONEMENT OF GENERAL ELECTION

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) condemn in totality the decision by the management of INEC led by Prof. Attahiru Jega to postpone the 2015 elections by six weeks to March 28th and April, 11th, 2015, amongst other reasons, on the advice by the security chiefs led by the National Security Adviser Col. Sambo Dansuki (Rtd), who said that they cannot provide security for the elections nationwide because of the commitment of its resources to fight insurgency in the Boko Haram-ravaged North-East. The security reason adduced is seen as subrogation to our electoral process which is not tenable and should be discarded by Nigerians who truly desires Change. We also hope that at the end of the six weeks the over 219 Chibok girls will be re-united and also the Boko Haram would have come to an end.

To us, the postponement of the election has not only regressed us as a nation but also depicting a similarity of how the popular June 12 presidential election won by Chief M.K.O. Abiola was subverted by the General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida led military regime in 1993. We want to state emphatically that the security challenges faced in Nigeria cannot be more precarious than that of Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Somalia, South Sudan, Ukaraine, etc where in the midst of civil armed struggle election still held.

By this action, President Goodluck Jonathan has once again exposed the underbelly of the Nigerian nation to a most unpardonable ridicule across the globe. Never in the over 100-year history of the country has elections been postponed in such a ridiculous manner. And it is an irony that Nigeria that used to be the toast of the world in international peace keeping operations and had in fact rescued Liberia, Congo and Sierra-Leone from destruction is now the same country being rescued by Chad. A greater irony is that the same security agents that could not muster forces to quell insurgency  in the North East since 2011 is now battle ready to squash Nigeria’s hopes and aspirations. They cannot fight the insurgents but they can terrorize law abiding Nigerian Citizens and prevent them from their basic duty of electing their leaders.

This ill-conceived action is a confirmation of the fears and suspicion which the Nigerian populace had nursed all along; that the President Goodluck Jonathan led Government will truncate the planned elections to ensure that the unpopular government remains in power for as long as the Commander-in-Chief is in control of all forces of intimidation, coercion and terror and also to ensure that status quo where corruption, impunity, mismanagement of public funds, etc remains unchanged.

It is also noteworthy to state that National Association of Nigerian Students` NANS considers the shift of the election as a fraudulent attempt to subvert Nigeria’s democratic process. However, Nigerians should not be tempted into taking any action that will further endanger the country, because in an attempt to solve a problem, you do not surround yourself with problem oriented people as they will kill your ideas and instill fear in the mind of our initiation, instead lets forge ahead to acquire the Change Nigerians desire. We want to warn that the peaceful manner in which we swallowed the bitter pill of the postponement should not be taken for granted because any attempt to fraudulently shift the poll again will throw our great nation into an unimaginable catastrophe.

2. STATE OF THE EDUCATIONAL SECTOR

So much have been advertised as the achievements of President Goodluck Jonathan led administration in the educational sector but as the leaders of the students we are bold to say that we are yet to feel the impacts of such achievements. Almost all the federal tertiary institutions (Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education) pay very high tuition fees and they lack modern facilities to aid learning and teaching.

The government is yet to fully fulfill its agreement with ASUU, ASUP, COEASU and allied unions even ASUP is currently on a three days warning strike. Infrastructures are already tearing out on our campuses as our lives remain consistently unbearable. We want CHANGE that will bring lasting peace to Nigerian students.

3. DISTRIBUTION AND COLLECTION OF PERMANENT VOTERS CARDS

We want to admonish INEC to use the extension period at ensuring that the remaining PVCs are made available for collection all across the country. We also want to state emphatically that the PVCs should be the only medium for voting as encouraging the use of TVCs is synonymous to fraud and any attempt to foist the TVCs on the electorate will discredit the entire process and further bring the President Goodluck Jonathan led Federal government to further ridicule not only within the country but also in the International community. The leadership of NANS has also mandated all her affiliate unions to commence voter’s education on all our campuses especially now that we have resolved to embrace CHANGE that will be bring about sustainable developments in our educational sector.

4. OUR POSITION ON THE PRESIDENCY’S ATTEMPT TO FORCE PROF ATTAIRU JEGA ON TERMINAL LEAVE

We want to commend the boldness of Prof Attahiru Jega for stating the obvious reason (Insecurity) for the postponement of the election even amidst heavy criticism from the presidency, PDP chieftains and the security chiefs. Our position still remains that Prof Attahiru Jega should be allowed to conclude the elections without any form of intimidation from the presidency and its sympathizers also any attempt to force him out will be met with passionate resistance from the Nigerian Students. Though we know that the President Goodluck Jonathan led administration don’t value the lives of its citizens but we are more determined to protest against any form of militarized intimidation by any agency of the government.

5. THE PRESIDENCY SHOULD DESIST FROM INTIMIDATING OPPOSITION LEADER THROUGH THE NIGERIAN ARMY

Our concern stems from the fact that the mood of the nation is already tensed majorly due to alarming insecurity and recently, the postponed general election. The beauty of democracy lies in dissenting and opposing views especially when the government of the day is performing abysmally. We use this medium to admonish the Federal Government to stop the Nigerian Army from laying siege on the residence of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Leader of All Progressive Congress as this is not descent under a descent democratic practices.

6. THE NSA, CDS, COAS, AND CNS SHOULD RESIGN WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT

Despite the huge financial and human resources expended to boost the security architecture of our dear nation yet our security chiefs could still not guarantee security for peaceful, free, fare and transparent election. For our security chiefs to have acknowledged their incompetence publicly both within and beyond Nigeria’s shores also considering how our national security has declined in the last six years juxtaposing it with missing 219 Chibok girls. It then behooves on our security chiefs to tender their resignation on moral and constitutional grounds.

7. RECKLESS POLITICAL UTERRANCES BY THE SO-CALLED POLITICAL AND ETHNIC LEADERS

Our attention has also been drawn to the reckless and treasonable statements credited to some political and ethnic leaders and others that they will declare war on Nigeria if President Goodluck Jonathan is not eventually declared winner in the forthcoming elections. What is still surprising to us is that the security agencies are yet to invite them over the provocative statements credited possibly as a result of their close relationship with a specific candidates. As a critical stakeholder in the Nigerian project, we want to state categorically that the Nigerian students are battle ready against any individual or groups of individuals working sinisterly to derail the democracy won with the bloods of innocent tertiary students.

8. NON-DEPLOYMENT OF SOLDIERS FOR THE FORTHCOMING ELECTION

We hereby state that the Presidency is derailing the Nigerian Military from their moral and constitutional responsibilities and which is to protect our territorial integrity and not meddling into partisan issues. The Nigerian Military has never been so ridiculed in the history of our dear nation like under the present administration where Nigerians are beginning to doubt the professional integrity of the Military.

We are also aware that there is a subsisting order from a federal high court in Sokoto state barring the military from interfering into political elections in Nigeria and it remains sacrosanct until it is upturned by a higher court.  We are still baffled by the revelation of an army officer about the last gubernatorial election in Ekiti where the audio tape of the discussions on how they rigged the election with the support of the Army between Governor Ayodele Fayose, Musiliu Obanikoro, Jelili Adesiyan and General Momoh and we expect a thorough investigation into this incident by the leadership of the Nigerian Army.

The conditions stated above makes it obvious that Nigerians can never trust the non-partisan posture of the military in the forthcoming elections so we are resolute that the Nigerian Military should concentrate their efforts in regaining our lost territories from Boko Haram while also ensuring that 219 chibok girls are re-united to their families hale and hearty.

CONCLUSION

We are using this medium to appeal to all critical stakeholders in Nigeria to please place our collective national interest above their selfish interest as we have no other country other than Nigeria and there is no point in allowing this election to tear us apart. Also, the National Association of Nigerian Students without any ethnic and religious bias hereby directs all our affiliate unions to mobilize their members to get their PVCs and embrace CHANGE in the forthcoming general elections as this is where our future is secured and guaranteed.

In the meantime, we urge all Nigerians to be vigilant, remain steadfast and forever patriotic. We must all be conscious of our environment and eschew violence in its entire ramification. We believe that the time for CHANGE in Nigeria is now!!!

“Until change is complete, we shall continue to inform and motivate; only when change is complete shall we continue to consolidate, we shall never rest”

Aluta continua……………….Victoria acerta

Signed:

Ogunkuade Oluwatosin
NANS National Vice President (External)

Oloja Olanrewaju T.
NANS Zone D ASG

Olatinwo Jeremiah O.
NANS Zone D PRO

Ayiti Adebayo T.
NANS Zone D COS

Sanusi Sulaimon O.
NANS JCC Chairman, Lagos Axis

MusaSurajudeen                                          NANS JCC Chairman, Ekiti Axis

OlanrewajuSegun                                           NANS JCC Chairman, Oyo Axis

Awowole Samuel                                            NANS JCC Chairman, Osun Axis

Ogunsola Okikiola M.
NANS JCC Chairman, Ogun Axis

Olugbode Damola H.
NAPS National PRO

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