A frontline aspirant for the position of National Public Relations Officer in the forthcoming convention of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Oguche Divine Omale, has withdrawn from the race.
His withdrawal was communicated via a personally signed statement on Friday, November 27, a copy of which was forwarded to CAMPUS GIST, in Abuja.
The NANS national convention is slated to hold from November 29 — 3rd December, 2020 at the Area 10 Sports Complex, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
In the statement, Friday, Omale, a Masters student at the University of Benin, said he was withdrawing to give room to “legitimate students” who had more years in their academic pursuit.
“…While we’re passionate about service delivery, we cannot also fail to relinquish the mantle of leadership when our time is up,” he said. “As an M.Sc Student of the University of Benin, I have little time to round off with my academics as well as other project works…
“It’s therefore hypocritical for me to contest and remain in office as a student representative even while I have graduated and I’m no longer a student anymore because that has been what we have criticised and fought for all these years.
“We understand the beautiful colouration, the glamour, and the pride that comes with serving Nigerian students at the apex level, but we’re equally putting into consideration the desire of other genuine and qualified students who would not also mind in giving their very best to serve our noble association.”
Omale added, “we are of the opinion that NANS should be centred around genuine students who have shown consistent enthusiasm towards positive change. These people who have the zeal, the leadership dexterity and charisma, should be empowered and encouraged to assume leadership roles in our noble association, so as to chart a way forward for a new Nigeria, and to advocate for better society for all Nigerian students.”
He charged ‘legitimate undergraduate and postgraduate students’ to take up elective positions in NANS either at the national level, at the zonal level, or at the state level so as to lend their voices to nation building, community development, and save the Nigerian students movement from ridicule.
“Ever since I announced my intention to contest for the position of the PRO of NANS, a lot of people have embraced the aspirations as if it was theirs, because of their trust and confidence in me. That is why my decision to step down hurts, it hurts all these genuine supporters of progressive change and myself too. But we appeal that they all take this notice in good fate, as the interest of Nigerian students supersedes every individual aspirations.”
The former UNIBEN Students’ Union PRO called on leaders of the NANS who have served the association for more than 15 years, to allow the younger ones take leadership position.
“Those who have ridiculed the association and have turned NANS to medium of making money should let go of their firm grip on the association and allow genuine students who are enthusiastic for change take over the association, take over its governance while they(the leaders) advise from afar.”
To genuine supporters, who have shown their commitments to progress, including members of the Oguche Divine Omale Campaign Organisation (ODOCO), the media team, the strategic team, and everybody who has been part of this project, Omale said he was grateful.
To presidential aspirants in the NANS contest, people he described as “friends”, Omale called on whosoever that wins the election amongst them, to look inwardly to make the association great again.
To those running for NANS National PRO, a position he withdrew from, he said “you guys have worked hard to be PRO of our great association, and I just want to wish you guys the very best.”
“Having spent a lot in the course of this journey has never been my pain, but my hurts has been letting those who truly believe in my vision and in me down for the first time. I beg for your forgiveness and for you all to see this as a best step in putting our association in the right direction.
“While my victory is sure with you all, I still believe that the association should supersede individual gains or interest. The future holds a lot for us all and by Gods grace, we’ll give our best,” the statement added.
“We appreciate every Nigerian students for their support throughout the aspiration. We still value the support, the acceptance at every campus tour and all the genuine endorsements of legitimate students, we appreciate all of these and we’re indeed very grateful.”