The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, will now have its convention in Abuja between November 26th and 30th, says a communiqué made available to the News Digest.

The date and venue were approved at an inaugural meeting of the 2020 NANS Convention Planning Committee held on Monday, 2nd of November, 2020, at the national headquarters in Abuja.

The Senate had previously requested the Convention Planning Committee to prepare a convention for November 12–15.

“However, in recognition of the urgent need to hold the convention in the month of November, in consideration of the limitations and consultation with the Senate Secretariat, the NANS Secretariat and crucial stakeholders and gained their full consent, the committee resolved that the 2020 convention of NANS to elect its new leadership to be conducted from 26th to 30th of November, 2020,” the communiqué reads.

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For “adequate security reasons” and the hope that it provides a “level playing ground” for aspirants, the convention will be held in Abuja.

It became necessary for the association to ready a new elective convention for students, to vote in a new leadership, after Mr Bamidele Akpan, the past president, was impeached in a senate ruling last month.

The Senate dismissed the president, who had exceeded his 12 months tenure, on charges of financial misappropriation and diversion of students Covid-19 palliatives.

The Convention Planning Committee, tasked with preparing the convention, resolved that a list for accreditation, showing the names and number of schools, will be published before the convention.

Expect Unique Convention—committee chairman

Nigerian students should expect a convention where their voices will be heard, says Abubakar Barde, who is the chairman of the Convention Planning Committee.

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According to Mr Abubakar, the impeached president was in the process of conducting an election before his dismissal.

“The new president [Comr. Chidi Ilogede] just came on board and his task is to form a planning committee, which he did, and our responsibility is to give them a befitting congress.

“We intend to achieve a free and fair election without the interference with the mandate of true students throughout the elective convention.

“And we intend to give them a befitting convention where Nigeria students will be able to elect their leader, and at the end of the day, their voices should be heard,” he said.

Abubakar maintains that NANS is a student organisation and its executives must be students, duly elected by students.

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To this effect, the committee has adopted stricter measures to ensure the integrity of the election.

“There’s a committee we have introduced—screening and verification committee—which is going to ascertain the legitimacy of students who are contesting,” he said.

“It is something that we want to see to its logical conclusion. We want to see, as much as possible, that students voted for their leaders and leaders must be students as well,” he added.

The committee has agreed to allow only bonafide students to contest in the election, as entrenched in the association’s constitution.

A peace and no-faction accord will also be signed by aspirants to discourage violence during the election process.

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