ASABA-National Association of Anioma Students, NAAS at the weekend has stormed Onicha-Ugbo, venue for the Delta North Senatorial district meeting of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, to stage a peaceful protest against Delta North political office holders for being insensitive to their plight and continuous neglect of the association.
The association gave the Delta North political office holders 14 days ultimatum to respond to its requests or it would relocate the association to the party’s secretariat until their demands are met.
They also held Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and other top government officials for two hours in order to register their demands and express their dismay.
The angry students, who stormed the venue of the meeting, barricaded the entrance to the venue chanting solidarity songs with placards in hands carrying various inscriptions like “Save us from shame! Support our 2017 Anioma Students National Convention”, “Save our future! Anioma students deserve scholarships/empowerment”, ” Treat us like sons and daughters! Pick our calls, respond to our letters and text messages” among others.
Speaking to journalists at protest venue, the National President of NAAS, Comr. Imala Ugoachanum, said the association was tired of being treated like slaves as it leaders have repeatedly ignored their text messages, calls and letters for sponsorship of their programmes.
He said “We have tried on several occasions to reach out to them but to no avail because they have made themselves invincible to the students, which is why decided to pay them a visit today.
“Their doors are not open to us (students), it is unfortunate that we are only remembered during elections and after election, they will abandon us and disappear into thin air. All that has changed now, we are no longer naive, hence in their own best interest, they should listen to us.”
” Again, these political office holders have refused to give account for stewardship to the Anioma students whereas these students make up 40 per cent of those who voted for them and even during constituency briefing for their select few, the students are neglected, never invited nor recognized.
“As state House and National Assembly members, commissioners and others, they occupy such offices while they still further their education from B.Sc to MS.c and Ph. D whereas both their offices and education are full-time, yet Anioma students are forbidden from holding elective positions.
” In Zamfara State, a student is the Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor on Students’ Affairs; in Gombe, a student is the SA to a Commissioner for students’ affairs; in Bornu, a student is the SA on students’ affairs to a Senator, and in Delta South, a student is the SA to a House of Representatives member. I can go on and on but in Anioma Nation, commissioners, lawmakers both at the state and federal level do not have SA’s on students more or less appointing a student to hold any elective office.
” No matter how hard we try, none of our political office holders honors our invitation to our ceremonies yet they attend birthdays, naming ceremonies, dedication parties among others and this has reduced our integrity among our brothers in other senatorial district.
” A typical example of the above stated situation is our upcoming 2017 Anioma Students National Convention we have been planning for over six months, but lack of fund has made us postpone it from September to November 2-5, 2017, as we keep searching for funds. The only person who has heard our cry for support is the DESOPADEC Commissioner representing Ndokwa Nation on the Board of DESOPADEC, Hon. Nnamdi Ezechi and we pray that God will continue to bless him.”
” We came here to present our demands before the party in order for them to provide urgent solutions to this lackadaisical attitude being exhibited by her political office holders towards us.”
He listed the demands of the association to include: ” The provision of N2million for our 2017 Anioma Students National Convention; provision of scholarships/empowerments for Anioma students; account of stewardship through invitation for town hall meetings/constituency briefings; demand for maximum response to our calls and letters.”
Others are the demand for students oriented programmes like inter-house sports competition, provision of four buses for mobilization of its over 60, 000 eligible voters (students); appointments of its students as Special Assistants on students’ affairs for effective policy making in favor its students among others.
The NASS president warned that failure to meet their demands on or before the October 14 deadline; the leadership of Anioma students nationwide will reconvene to determine its next line of action.