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The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) said it’s in full support of the present administration’s war against corruption and has therefore urged the government to focus the campaign on the educational sector to rescue it from collapse.
To participate fully in the war, the association said it has resolved to play the role of a whistle blower to curb corruption in every aspect of the society especially the educational sector aswell as ensure the recovery of stolen funds.
The National President, Comrade Chinonso Obasi stated this while staging a peaceful protest to the office of the Independent Corrupt Practises and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in Abuja on Thursday.
Speaking to the media at the gate of ICPC’s office, Obasi said, “In line with the resolve of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s Federal Government to encourage whistle-blowing, curb corruption and recover stolen funds, our association (NANS) has graciously accepted to act in good faith and whistle blow corrupt practises in the educational sector.”
According to Comrade Obasi, said NANS requested that the agency beam its searchlight on the educational sector stated that the worst form of corruption is taking place there. His words, “Mr Chairman, the worst corruption is actually happening in our tertiary institutions. No nation can develop above her people. A lot of our administrators have ruined the tertiary institutions, looting resources meant to build, train and educate our nation’s manpower for future development as a people and nation.”
He stated that the students decided to join the fight against corruption as the practise constitutes a serious threat to the future of Nigerian youths. He noted that except the youth take steps to ensure the eradication of corrupt activities in the educational sector, they may not have a future.
Comrade Obasi commended the ICPC saying, “The National Association of Nigerian Students under my able leadership salutes the courage and decisive incursions of the able leadership of the current management of the ICPC led by Mr. Ekpo Nta into perpetrators of fraudulent acts committed by public and private citizens who breached public trust.
The students who were carrying various placards submitted a petition demanding the ICPC to probe Prof. Francis Otunta, Vice Chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike.
Part of the petition reads, “In making true the essence of complimenting your efforts, the National Association of Nigerian Students wish to call on the ICPC to probe the allegations of fraud and corrupt practises levelled against Prof Francis Otunta during his tenure as Rector/Chief Executive of Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana and now as the Vice Chancellor of MOUA, Umudike, Abia State.
“In consolidating on the resolution reached by the NEC of NANS at a press conference addressed by the National President, Comrade Chinonso Obasi, GCNS; gave seven days ultimatum to the Vice Chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike -Prof. Otunta, to resign from office for issues bothering on gross incompetence, dishonest practices and highhandedness, as well as engaging in behaviours inimical to the academic and proper development of students.
“Instead of commendably heeding the call by NANS, Prof. Otunta rather mounted a high horse and resorted to grandstanding and declaration of war against the NANS President, Comrade Chinonso Obasi, whom he claimed was expelled from Federal Polytechnic Unwana.
“Based on the foregoing, NANS wishes to spell out the cases against Otunta, which make him unsuitable to continue to occupy the office of Vice Chancellor and insist on his resignation from office, face the allegations levelled against him and either clear his name or face prosecution if found guilty.”
NANS submitted that, “Consequent upon the foregoing, NANS hereby urges the ICPC under your competent leadership to probe Prof. Francis Otunta on these allegations, especially the criminal case of forgery and fraud instituted against him at Federal High Court, Abakaliki.
We have resolved to partner the various anti-graft agencies in the country hence our decision to whistle-blow Prof Otunta’s acts of dishonesty to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission in the hope that justice can be served and public funds illegally diverted can be recovered.
The head of administration ICPC, Mr Nathaniel Gad Baku who received the petition on behalf of the ICPC chairman promised to further it to the appropriate quarter. He also commended the students for the orderly manner they conducted themselves.
The students equally took the protest to the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the Federal Ministry of Education Abuja where they submitted similar petition.