AN OPEN LETTER TO THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF AKWA IBOM STATE, HIS EXCELLENCY, MR. UDOM GABRIEL EMMANUEL ON THE JUST CONCLUDED NANS ZONAL ELECTIONS

Education Featured Opinion

3 November 2019

His Excellency

Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel

Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State

Government House, Uyo

Your Excellency,

THE PEACE AND UNITY OF OUR DEAR STATE MAY WORTH OUR BLOOD: A CRISES ALERT!

We bring warm and fraternal greetings from the South South/South East Zonal Secretariat of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), the largest youth movement in the entire Black world, and relevant stakeholder in the crusade for human/education rights, inclusive development, democracy, just, free and egalitarian human society in the Nigerian state. It was only natural, obviously in deep acknowledgement of your strides, that at the famous Globe Roundabout Accord we mobilized Nigerian Students to endorse and work for the realization of your reelection, and has sustained that support and cooperation for your completion agenda which hopes to take our state to the world, and the world to our state.

May we further humbly and respectfully brief His Excellency, the Executive Governor that the Secretariat of NANS Zone B has conventionally moved to University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State following my graceful elections at the just concluded Elective Zonal Convention which held at University of Nigeria, Nsukka between 22 and 25 October 2019, and observed by the different security agencies, civil society groups, the media and representatives of various State governments and the Federal Ministry of Education. That again implies that I have become the second highest ranking resident students leader in the State after Comrade Ekemini Inyang, the National Ex-Officio of NANS. The Convention took far reaching decisions which borders on better living conditions for Nigerians, especially the funding of education, dissolved the immediate past executive council and elected a new executive where I emerged as the Zonal Secretary General under the Cordinatorship of Comrade Jeremiah Friday of Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun and and membership across the eleven states that forms the zone. These, and other resolutions of Convention are duly documented in the Communique of Convention which has enjoyed adequate media exposure and publicity.

However, despite the plausible ideals and breath of fresh air in the students movement based on my election on the strong credentials of sanity, depoliticization and student centred activism for leadership incubation, our attention has been drawn to an organized attempt by some political contractors led by one Mr. Ettinyene Offongekpe, a known youth leader of the All Progressives Congress political party who lost out of the Zonal Cordinatorship elections of our Association to infiltrate our ranks and escalate mischievous violent crimes with intention to destabilize the government of our State to satisfy their political masters ill-conceived desires, and we hereby rise to assure your Excellency and the State security apparatus that Nigerian Students in Akwa Ibom State shall stake their highest sacrifice to defend the peace and Unity of our State, and that never would we allow any body or group of people no matter how highly placed to use the student movement in a subtle continuation of the 2019 elections battle with the Divine Mandate government of the day.

We therefore wish to formerly notify the government and good people of Akwa Ibom State that there is no faction or whatsoever in Akwa Ibom State as a fall out of the just concluded zonal elections, and that there is only one Secretary for the zone which happens to be my humble self, and that I have constitutionally resumed the roles and functions of my office, notwithstanding the ceremonial Inauguration procedure. We further wish to notify all stakeholders that we shall remain committed to building bridges to achieve students welfare and shall not remain silent over matters of policy and consultation with other development actors.

Nevertheless, we view the attempted attempt by Mr. Ettinyene Offongekpe who vied for Cordinatorship of the Zone, and was rejected at the polls by the Senators (SUG Presidents) voting at Senate floor on grounds of political partisanship being a card carrying member of a political party and serving Campaign Cordinator for Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon. Who vied for House of Representatives in the last election. It was only a new beginning for NANS when delegates resolved not to sell NANS to political merchants who allegedly invested N50Million to induce votes, and another N4M for the upkeep of a few former factional leaders and business men who have held the Association captive for years for political and economic gains.

Therefore we would not encourage Mr. Offongekpe to use our Association for political muscling, and thus understand his contemplation to impost as the Zonal Coordinator as an invitation to anarchy, and a scripted campaign to cause a breach of public peace, as we shall not hesitate to mobilize authentic Nigerian Students to defend the mandate that was bravely given to us by students at the level of Nsukka. We shall equally defend and protect the government, peace and unity of our State, as well as the mandate that was massively given to Your Excellency, our dear Governor, and if doing this would cost our blood, we have resolved it be so.

In saying this, we have recieved credible intelligence that Mr. Offongekpe has assembled a bunch of school drop outs and known cultist with intention to parade himself and impost as the Coordinator of NANS Zone B purportedly on the University of Uyo ticket.  We also would want to call on the State government and the security agencies to please note this attempt to cause crises in Akwa Ibom state along political and ethnic lines, and call Mr. Offongekpe to order as the consequences of this one very action may be devastating.

A man who stood as a witness in the Tribunal for a political party that lost elections in the State, happily married with kids who are already in Secondary school and whose only objective for NANS office is to ‘fight the government of the day’ could not have been elected as as a Student leader, talkless of the highly revered and responsibility embedded office of the Coordinator of the largest zone of NANS comprising of 11 States with 74 tertiary institutions.  That imposition, misrepresentation and attempt to factionalize the Zonal structure would not be tolerated and should not be contemplated, as there would be no further warning.

Meanwhile, we acknowledge Your Excellency’s support so far,  and hail his spirited efforts to turn around the economic fortunes  of our State. We shall not relent our support for your administration. We also appreciate the goodwill and cooperation of Vice Chancellors, Rectors, Provosts, ASUU, SSANU, NASU, the media in our avowed commitment to reorient the students movement and shall continue to reciprocate this gesture by weeding out unscrupulous element from the rank and file of our Noble Association.

. Rest, Your Excellency Sir, in the assurances of our highest regards, loyalty and esteem.

Aluta Continua, Victoria Acerta!!

Comrade Ubong Ekwere

Secretary General

National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS)

Zone B, (South South/South East)

Copy To

1. The Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom State Command Headquarters

2. The State Director, Department of State Services

3. The Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Education

4. All Vice Chancellors/ Rectors/Provosts

5. The Global President, NANS