The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) leadership is embroiled in an internal conflict amid claims that the APC offered N300 million in bribes to take over the organization before the general elections in 2023.
Joshua Danladi claimed in a petition to the State Security Services (SSS) that the APC had used significant financial inducements to secure the NANS presidential ticket and other positions for their chosen candidates, who would then work to ensure the ruling party’s electoral success in the 2023 elections.
“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.
The petition claimed the association’s election has been purposefully and indefinitely delayed as a ploy for the ruling party to perfect its vote-buying fraud. Mr. Danladi, a student at 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 and 29th.
“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.”
Numerous students who traveled to Abuja because of the NANS election have been “made homeless” as a result of the unexpected occurrence, and they have already used up all of their hotel funds.
“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.
Although Mr. Danladi did not specifically name any suspects in his appeal, it looked that he was still pointing the finger at Bola Tinubu, the ruling party’s presidential candidate. Requests for comments from an APC spokesman were not answered.
Regarding whether the allegations would be looked into as well as how threats of violence would be avoided, an SSS spokesman declined to comment.
The petition raises more questions about the charges of vote-buying that tainted the APC national convention, which took place in June at Eagles Square in Abuja. At least five delegates admitted to receiving American currency for Bola Tinubu’s support during the party’s primary election to The Gazette.