by Dare Lawal
There is a rumble in the executive council of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS as some members of the executive have disowned the national president, Mr. Yinka Gbadebo, over his support of the Federal Government in the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU. They insist that Gbadebo’s position is personal, and not the position of the general body.
They insisted that for now, NANS is neutral in the affair and the inclination of Mr. Gbadebo to support the government was a deviation from the students’ collective goal of resolving the crisis.
Those who held this position include the national assistant secretary general, Ali Mohammed , the national sports director, Talib Abubakar Gumel, and the national director of travels and exchange, Olusegun Oyebisi.
They insist that Gbadebo failed to consult before declaring NANS support for the Federal Government.
The students also dissociated NANS as a body from the ongoing face off between officials of the Federal Government and the Rivers State government saying that their president did not have any right to speak on the issue.
“The national president did not have our mandate to support the federal government over the strike as we are a neutral body. We do not support either the federal government or ASUU because it is the students that bear the brunt of the strike.
“We call on ASUU and the Federal Government to resolve the issue within seven days so that the students can return to their campuses.
“We do not understand why the national president should support the federal government or what concerns students with what is happening between the Rivers State governor and the President. The matter is between the two of them it does concern the students,” said Ali who spoke on their behalf.