An internal tussle has engulfed the leadership of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) over allegations of N300 million bribes from the All Progressives Congress to gain control of the association ahead of the 2023 general elections.
A petition submitted to the State Security Services (SSS) by Joshua Danladi and seen by Peoples Gazette alleged APC has resorted to massive financial inducement to secure the NANS presidential ticket and other positions for their anointed candidates, who would in turn work for the ruling party’s election victory at the 2023 polls.
“We also have it on good authority that the CPC (Convention Planning Committee) is being hijacked by external political forces within the All Progressives Congress (APC) who are hellbent on imposing their stooges to lead the students’ movement as we inch closer to the 2023 general elections,” reads the petition addressed to the SSS director-general Yusuf Bichi on August 31.
Mr Danladi, a student of Federal University Dutsin-Ma and one of the candidates in the NANS presidential election, said the APC budgeted one million naira bribe per delegate for the 2022 NANS election scheduled to have been held between August 25th to 29th, the petition claimed the association’s election has been deliberately and indefinitely delayed as a ploy for the ruling party to perfect its vote-buying fraud.
“Furthermore, we gathered that the CPC in active connivance with some politically exposed candidates have reached an agreement to prolong the convention as long as it takes from frontline APC and from the presidential villa.”
The indefinite extension of the NANS election has “rendered homeless” hundreds of students who travelled to Abuja and have now exhausted their hotel budget following the unanticipated development.
“One of the politically exposed candidates has so far cashed out over N50m from the APC,” the petition stressed.
“Equally, the CPC and APC endorsed candidate are waiting to receive the sum of three hundred million naira (300,000,000) from APC presidential villa and have earmarked to purchase the nearly 300 votes at the cost of one million naira (1,000,000) for each vote,” the petition added.
“These allegations, when confirmed to be true, negate the provision of the constitution of NANS and an affront to free and fair electoral processes and a call for anarchy in the students’ movement,” it added.
Mr Danladi did not directly name suspects in his petition, although he appeared to have further pointed fingers at Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the ruling party. A spokesman for the APC did not return a request seeking comments.
An SSS spokesman declined comments about whether or not the allegations would be investigated, as well as how threats of violence would be forestalled.
The petition adds to allegations of vote-buying that marred the APC national convention which held in June at the Eagles Square, Abuja. At least five delegates disclosed to The Gazette they received American banknotes to support Bola Tinubu at the party’s primary election.
Source: Peoples Gazette
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