NANS Split Over Planned Protest Against Saraki’s Trial
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has been divided over the on-going trial of Senate president Bukola Saraki.
While the national body of the student union headed by its president, Tijani Sheu, and some groups headed by the Director-General of Heritage Group, Katch Ononuju, threatened to protest the trial of Mr. Saraki to foreign diplomatic missions in Abuja, the South-West zone of NANS, distanced itself from the position of its national president.
The pro-Saraki coalition accused President Muhammadu Buhari of complicity in the travails of Mr. Saraki, insisting that the Senate President’s disregard for the directive of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in respect of National Assembly leadership tussle was the root of his trial.
It would be recalled that the NANS President, Mr. Sheu, on September 2, led students to Aso Rock Villa to pledge the support of Nigerian students to Mr. Buhari’s administration, particularly its anti-corruption campaign.
What may come as a surprise to many is the sudden volte-face of of the Sheu led NANS.
The south-west NANS, Zone D, brushed aside the position of its the national body. It maintained that rule of law should take its course and urged Mr. Saraki to submit himself for trial.
NANS Zone D, in a statement on Sunday by its coordinator, Okikiola Ogunsola, said “NANS as a body” had recently pledged its support for Mr. Buhari’s fight against corruption.
“Our position is that any individual or group charged or alleged to have participated directly or indirectly in misappropriation, mismanagement or acquired properties in a wrong way should submit to rule of law to take effect,” Mr. Ogunsola said.
He added that though the zone had respect for the national body; yet, as “an ideological zone, we would not in any way subject ourselves to any act by our national body that tend to undermine or coerce rule of law from taking its course.”
“We are stating in strong terms that our zone is not of the planned protest by the civil society group under the aegis of Heritage Group and NANS,” it said.