Who Becomes NANS President? - AMEBOTV BLOGS



Who Becomes NANS President?

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The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) will elect new leaders at the end of this month when the tenure of the outgoing executive led by Tijani Usman expires. TEMITOPE YAKUBU (Business Administration, Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti) looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the presidential candidates. 
Soon, there will be a change of guard in the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS). Those interested in leading the association have started  campaigning across campuses nationwide to sell themselves to fellow students.
STUDENTS NIGERIA gathered that the position of NANS president has been reserved for students in Zone B, comprising higher institutions in Southeast and Southsouth.
The outgoing NANS President, Tijani Usman, a student of Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), emerged from Zone A.
Tijani was elected when NANS was battling to save its integrity. The students’ body was seen as a disorderly and partisan organisation. But, a year after he was sworn-in, many students believe Tijani has taken steps to address the association’s problems.
Some students praised the outgoing NANS leadership for the resolution of Students’ Union Government (SUG) crises in many institutions. More than 74 expelled student-leaders were reinstated to complete their programmes at Tijani’s instance.
But others believe the NANS leadership should have focused on changing people’s perception about the association.
As another election draws nearer, candidates are concerned with NANS battered image and how to restore its glory. Whoever emerges president is expected to bring the body and students closer.
However, the electioneering may have started on a faulty step as candidates engage in mudslinging, name-calling, blackmail and social media wars.
The eight candidates, believed to be the strongest among those vying for the NANS top office, have unveiled their programmes.
Sheriff Emeka Eboh
heriff, a student of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) in Awka, the Anambra State capital, is popular within Zone B. A former local coordinator of NANS in the zone, Sheriff is said to be the only student, who has cordial relations with authorities of schools in the Southeast and Southsouth. Without holding any position, he is said to be using his connections to resolve disagreements between student-leaders and their Vice-Chancellors.
He said he had used his connection to help some graduates get jobs at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu- Ojukwu University (COOU) in Anambra State, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) and UNIZIK. He claimed to have helped over 284 applicants get admission free.
He said his objective is to return NANS  to campuses and insulate the body from the influence of moneybags who are using it for their political gains.
But, one of the challenges Sheriff may likely encounter is the disagreement between him and some NANS stakeholders. He does not have a large number of student-leaders supporting his ambition, because he is believed to be too radical.
Ukachukwu Okpaloka
Ukachukwu is a UNN student and the Special Adviser on Special Duties and Campus Affairs to Tijani. He is also a former Deputy Senate President of the association. Because of his closeness to the NANS president, Ukachukwu is believed to be Tijani’s preferred candidate.
Ukachukwu claims that he had the backing of NANS stakeholders in Zones A and B. As an indigene of Anambra State studying in Enugu, he believes stakeholders from Zone B would support his aspiration.
However, students believe Ukachukwu would be a pawn in the hand of Tijani if elected. Ukachukwu promised to consolidate on the gains of the outgoing president but said he would not be anyone’s poodle.
 Chika Isaiah
Chika is a Political Science Education student of UNIZIK and former NANS Assistant General Secretary. He is the Public Relations Officer of Cross River chapter of Igbo Consultative Assembly. He led a struggle against exorbitant fee for post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Zone B.
He believes his years of participation in NANS politics make him the most experienced. He promised not to depend on politicians to manage the affairs.
Chika’s critics believe he does not have good managerial skills. But, Chika said his involvement in election is to restore the body’s glory.
Ezekiel Nwankwo
Ezekiel, an Agricultural Engineering Student of Imo State Polytechnic, is the NANS Public Relations Officer (PRO). He believes he can lead the association, having been the Zone B NANS Coordinator and image maker of the body.
Stakeholders believe Ezekiel failed to improve the association’s image. To them, his impact has not been felt in the dissemination of  information from NANS to students. Ezekiel said he had always engaged journalists to propagate NANS activities.
Kadir Arun Haruna
Haruna is a student of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) and the oldest among the contenders. He was a NANS zonal factional coordinator and contested for president against Comrade Tony Nwoye, a former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart in the area.
Critics believe Haruna is too old to lead and should step aside for the youngsters.
Haruna may likely face issue of zonal arrangement. The South-south, it was said, has produced president from Zone B. Many stakeholders believe it is time for the Southeast to produce the NANS president.
Anya Anya
Anya, a former Vice-President for Special Duties of the association, is a student of Agricultural Engineering at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) in Imo State. He is said to be articulate and friendly. But, stakeholders believe Anya ought to play an advisory role.
Anya said student-leaders in the North and South pleaded with him to contest again. He said he is on a redemption mission, vowing to reposition NANS if elected.
His critics believe some of his contemporaries are already National Assembly members and Special Advisers to governors. They advised Anya to leave the scene for the youngsters.
Igwe Ude-Umanta
Igwe was the chairman of the convention that conducted NANS election last year. A former SUG president of University of the Abuja (UNIABUJA), some see him as an experienced in unionist.
His critics believe he is not popular in Zone B, saying he enrolled at Abia State University because of NANS election.
Chuks Favour Obelle
Chuks is a Postgraduate student of UNIZIK. He was, for several stimes, an officer in the association and SUG Welfare Director. He is also former NANS Treasurer.
He is said to be a radical, as well as outspoken and intelligent. Stakeholders said he may not be supported because he does not believe in godfatherism.
While the contenders have been moving from campus to campus, the question many students are asking is: who will rescue NANS among them?

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