The leadership of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has warned students of tertiary institutions in the country against participating in a planned anti-Buhari rally scheduled to take place in Abuja during the week.
A statement issued by its chairman, National joint Campus Committee, Yerima Abdullahi on Tuesday, said information reaching the association confirmed a secret mobilisation of touts and students, who will be paraded as students, to campaign massively for the disqualification of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on the basis of ill-health and his academic qualification.
It warned students in the country against such move in view of the implications of such negative and malicious campaigns on the already heated-up polity.
“We hereby appeal to Nigeria students in the country to remain calm on their respective campuses and pray for peaceful conduct of the general elections. We urge them to remain firm and resolute and not allow themselves to be used to heat up the polity. We want to also appeal to politicians not to sponsor politics of hate among the future leaders”, it stated.
In a related development, the NANS President, Comrade Ali wali, has denied knowledge of any planned meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan and the leadership of the students body, saying “there is no way NANS will meet with Mr President without my knowledge”.
Comrade Wali was reacting on Tuesday to a report in a section of the media that the leadership of NANS would be meeting with the president with a view to helping to mobilise students’ votes for him in the March 28 presidential election.
It was also rumoured that during the planned meeting, arrangements would be finalised on an Anti-Buhari rally to be held in Abuja where the students body would declare its support for Jonathan and highlight reasons why Nigerian students should not vote for Buhari.
But speaking with newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, Comrade Ali Wali described the planners and organisers of the said meeting as imposters and non-students who, for years, had been using NANS as political venture to negotiate with the highest bidders, warning that Nigerian students would resist such move this time.
“I want politicians in the country to know that NANS is not for sale, and we cannot be bought or comprised. There was never a time that we contemplated a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan to discuss his candidacy or Nigerian students’ support for him in the rescheduled presidential election.
“As a students’ body, we are nonpartisan and will make only our electoral decisions and choices based on issues and concerns as they affect our education system and the socio-economic development of the country.
“I am not aware of any meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan. I am the elected President of NANS, so if Mr President is negotiating with another NANS President or leadership, he is doing so to his own peril and detriment. At best, he is negotiating with imposters and liars who are not registered students in any tertiary institution in the country. We will resist them; we know what to do”, Wali said.