National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has renewed its call for the rollback of school fees to enable Nigerians access quality education.
The students also condemned the recent fees hike by some tertiary institutions of learning, vowing to ensure that all such increments are reversed.
The new president of NANS, Comrade Lucky Emonefe, stated this in an address at a press conference in Abuja.
The conference also provided an opportunity where four presidential candidates in its just-concluded national convention and the council of zonal coordinators of NANS across the country made it clear that Lucky Emonefe remains the duly elected president of the association.
Emonefe said it was unreasonable for institutions to increase their fees and charges astronomically at a time when Nigerians are going through pain and hardships due to the difficult economic situation occasioned by fuel subsidy removal.
While throwing his weight behind the recent protest by the students of the University of Calabar against the 100 per cent hike in the institution’s tuition fees, he warned that the students would no longer tolerate such arbitrariness in the running of educational institutions in the country.
He pointed out that the latest development was contrary to an earlier directive by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu that all public universities should halt any form of increase in charges.
However, he insisted that vice-chancellors and management of the institutions must adhere to President Tinubu’s directive asking the public universities to halt tuition fees hike or face the consequences.
He warned that the student body would not hesitate to ground academic activities in any institution found to have embarked on arbitrary school fees hike, assuring Nigerian students that the association would set up a committee to monitor institutions that are increasing fees so as to force them to adhere to the president’s order.
Earlier, the four presidential candidates in the just-concluded national convention of NANS, namely Edom Smart John, Stephen Edidiong Tobi, Boniface Emesowun, all from the University of Calabar, and Enomfon Umoisien, University of Uyo, had adopted Emonefe as the authentic president of NANS.
Edidiong Tobi, who addressed a conference on behalf of other presidential candidates on Monday, said only Emonefe is recognised as the NANS genuine president.
His position was also affirmed by the Council of Zonal Coordinators of NANS across the country.
“We make bold to say this because there is no shame in losing a contest.
“It does not mean that the rest of us were less qualified or incapable of leading the organisation, No.
“It is just about the delegates’ choices at this time.
“So, we take our individual losses in good faith to join hands with the winner and build a strong, focused, and undivided NANS.
“In doing so, we win with our comrade brother, Lucky Emonefe, the undisputed president of NANS.
“Of course, we read from a section of the media that one of us, Comrade Pedro Chibuzor Obi, is claiming the Presidency of NANS.
“While we carefully refuse to join issues with him as a person, it is, however, ridiculous and indicative of deliberate media mischief that somebody will sit in a hotel, call the media, and declare himself the president of a big organisation like NANS, and the media put that out as news to the public.”