NANS ZONE B CONVENTION IN BAYELSA: MY STORY
As you all know, the National Association of Nigerian Students Zone B which Akwa Ibom falls under called for her Zonal Convention in Bayelsa State. As someone who attended the convention and physically witnessed the outcome, it is pertinent that I issue this press release in order to put things in clear perspective and to guard the public from being misguided. Please read patiently.
1.0: Departure and Arrival
As the NANS representative in Akwa Ibom State and an aspirant for the position of Deputy Coordinator of the zone, I was accompanied by Comr. Ikobong Ekete, President of my school – Akwa Ibom State University, Comr. Emem Owerekpe, SUG President of Akwa Ibom State College of Science and Technology (Akwatech) and Comr. Blessing Monday Essien, SUG President of Federal Polytechnic Ukana, alongside students supporting my aspiration to Bayelsa State. We left Uyo in the morning of Saturday 25th November and arrived Bayelsa in good time to continue campaigns on ground.
Around 3pm, we proceeded to the Federal University, Otueke being the venue of the convention as all comrades were directed for registration. The following day being Sunday November 26, we returned to the venue and the convention was set in motion despite some incidences which I will state hereafter. Elections commenced around few minutes past 5pm and a Zonal Coordinator was elected.
Thereafter, the election was abruptly called to an end due to security issues and the insistence of the school management that no one should stay in their premises beyond 6pm.
2.0: HAS AKWA IBOM PRODUCED A NANS ZONE B EXCO MEMBER?
As you are aware, I Comrade Akwaowo Clifford aspired as Deputy Coordinator of NANS Zone B while Comrade Mike Ibanga aspired as Assistant Secretary General (ASG). He had the backing of Comrade Otobong Aquila Akpan, SA on students in Akwa Ibom State and came into the race long after I had declared interest to run. He also came to Bayelsa led by Aquila who was on ground and even made her way into the Senate floor of NANS and they were also accompanied by their supporters.
It therefore meant that there were TWO separate teams from Akwa Ibom State; the Mike Ibanga team led by Aquila and the Akwaowo Clifford team. We did our registration separately on the first day and they did theirs also. While three SUG presidents and NANS accredited senators as earlier mentioned were with me, others were with them also. However, I did not see these things as a problem because we were not aspiring for the same position. However, political realities on ground worked against us both as the CONVENTION was abruptly terminated after the election of the office of COORDINATOR. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED. Therefore, with the abrupt end of the CONVENTION, NO ONE FROM AKWA IBOM STATE WAS ELECTED TO SERVE IN ANY POSITION IN NANS ZONE B NOR ANY OTHER STATE EXCEPT FOR THE OFFICE OF THE COORDINATOR, this includes me also.
My attention has been drawn to messages on social media congratulating Comr. Mike Ibanga as NANS Zone B ASG. THIS IS NOT TRUE. MIKE IBANGA IS NOT THE ASG OF NANS ZONE B. I am not a product of faction and will never align to such desperation. The public should be properly guided.
3.0: SECURITY ISSUES
While we were at the convention ground on Saturday 25th November for registration, we received information that some people were arrested with firearms. We later found out that among those arrested is Comr. Akpan Esuabanga Okon, Comr. Aaron Wisdom, Etefia Otobong Harrison, Comr. Uwakmfon Akwaowo (SUG President of College of Education), Comrade Duff Gabriel (President, University of Uyo) who we are told was with them. I wish to state categorically that THE UNION PRESIDENT OF UNIUYO, THAT OF COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, AFAHA NSIT, AND OTHERS ARRESTED IN BAYELSA DID NOT GO THERE WITH US AND WERE NOT PART OF OUR TEAM. They were part of the Mike Ibanga team led by SA on students, Otobong Aquila Akpan. The following day, (Sunday 26th November) the convention went on as earlier stated above amid sporadic gunshots.
4.0 WHY AM I SAYING THESE?
I am aware that Comrade Otobong Aquila, SA on students is already spreading propaganda against me and students who accompanied me to Bayelsa. I have been told of an SMS from her to highly placed people in Akwa Ibom State making spurious allegations against us.
Therefore, I have to state my side of the story because “Un-replied lies as they say, assumes the status of Truth”.
May God bless us all.
Aluta Continua, Victoria Ascerta.
Comrade Akwaowo Clifford Ukpong
Deputy Coordinator Aspirant
November 28, 2017.