The leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has distanced itself from the purported allegations by the Academic Staff Union of Universities claiming it received N150 million from the presidency.
The students union body disclosed this in a statement signed by Mr Adeyemi Amoo, it’s National Public Relations Officer, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Saturday.
Amoo called on Nigerian students to discountenance the allegations by ASUU, saying that the association was ready to protect the interest of all the students.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari, who is a known person in character and style to virtually all Nigerians, would never dole out such amount of money for any reason, which would not be of any national benefits or developments.
NAN reports that President Buhari on January 3, met with the leadership of NANS to resolve issues with ASUU.
“Our attention has been drawn to the purported and sponsored allegation, that NANS had been bribed by President Muhammadu Buhari with a whooping sum of N150million to protest against ASUU.
“We commend the well-meaning, intellectual and genuine civil society groups for not falling for this blackmail, as we’ve been informed that they’ve also been lobbied by ASUU to join them in pushing this blackmail.
“We are not surprised that this blackmail isn’t flying beyond the pseudo groups they’ve been able to arrange and mobilise with cash.
“President Muhammadu Buhari, is a known person in character and style to virtually all Nigerians, even the oppositions know that Buhari will never give out such amount of money for any reason(s) that is not of national benefits or developments.”
Amoo explained that NANS had earlier declared November 17, 2018 as a nationwide day of mass action tagged: “SAVE EDUCATION RALLY ” held simultaneously across the states of the federation, to protest the incessant strikes across universities, polytechnics and colleges of Education.
He added that in October 2018, NANS national leadership, met with the Minister for Education, to fine-tune ways of finding a long-term solution to the regular strikes in the educational sector.
“We demanded as the major stakeholders in the sector, to always have representatives at the meeting of ASUU with Federal Government, as this was targeted towards adding to the strength and voice of ASUU, so as to make government yield to their demands speedily.
“The Federal Government on her own side sees the request of been an observer at the negotiation table with ASUU as a welcome development.
“NANS was invited twice to the meeting of Federal Government with ASUU, ably represented by the NANS national president, Danielson Akpan, but was walked out twice by the ASUU leadership, insisting that such negotiations must not be done in the presence of younger ones.”
The statement added, “NANS, therefore, uses this medium to inform Nigerian students and Nigerians at large, that its leadership will not, has not and will not for any reason sell the interest and integrity of our dear organisation.
“Conclusively, we want to tell ASUU that NANS is not for sell, we have not and will not turn our struggles to a source of empowerment,” he said.