Exclusive: Power Tussle over NAPS National President’s position

… As ESPOLY, OSCOTECH, IbadanPoly, FedPoly Idah, KadPoly, Oke-ogunPoly,
DeltaPoly, AdamawaPoly, FFSSMNCHOK, FedPoly Nasarawa, Institution Deans Speaks

  • Most SUG Presidents Don’t Understand what is happening – CPC Secretary
  • How I led other Aspirants to conduct separate election – CPC Vice Chairman
  • He should be arrested – CPC Chairman

For the past few months, leadership of the National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), have been divided into two factions over the positions of the National President.
NAPS is the apex umbrella body of all Students in the Polytechnic across the six geo-political zone of the federation and the 2nd largest Polytechnic Students Association in Africa.

The disputes which has also thrown the media into a state of confusion with two different individuals been reported as the National President of the Association, started at the last NAPS National Convention held on the 30th November, 2019 in Benin City, Edo State.

As a result, all the Polytechnic Students Union Government (SUG) Presidents who are the decision makers of who should be the NAPS National President in a scheduled Convention, are now drown in the creek of misperception.
In this exclusive report by CAMPUS FOCUS Correspondent, Daniel Ayantoye, facts have emerged on who the authentic National President is, between Comr. Olalere Benedict and Comr. Sunday Adekanbi.

In a separate interview with the SUG Presidents of some polytechnic in Nigeria, this medium observed that the duo now operates as factional President.

Speaking in a phone chat, one of the student’s leader, Comr Mba Emmanuel, who is the SUG President of Enugu State Polytechnic said “I was at the convention that was held in Benin and Sunday contested and emerged as the President. I don’t know any other President.” He added.

In contrast to his opinion, the SUG President of Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke, Osun State. Comr. Omotuyi Olusoji, said the only authentic President is Benedict.
“Comr. Olalere Benedict is the authentic National President and he has been a very responsive and responsible president, He is an influencer and a well-articulated comrade. He has shown his capacity in various ways, He was in my school lately January for an intervention of lingering issue and he settled it amicably.”

Similarly, the SUG President, Ibadan polytechnic, Fadare Blessing said “the convention was held in Edo state and Benedict emerged as the President of the Association.”

For Comrade Drisu Manasseh, SUG President of Federal Polytechnic Idah “I know only one National President and is the person of Comr. Sunday because he introduced himself to me as the NAPS National President immediately I came into office. And I have been working with him perfectly.”

Also, Comr. Mubarak Abdulganiyi, SUG President, Kaduna State Polytechnic said “Benedict is never the President of National Association of Polytechnic Students NAPS, I was fully on ground at the Convention in Edo. Some selfish stakeholders went to a class room to declare Benedict. I was there from the beginning till the end.”

As for the SUG President, Oke Ogun Polytechnic, Saki, Oyo State, Comr. Hussein Akeem Adewale, who said he is in total confusion on who the legitimate President is, stated that, he currently has contacts of 3 persons claiming the position of NAPS National President. “I can’t say who exactly is the President because right now, I know 3 NAPS National presidents, so I don’t know who is who”

Also, the SUG President, Delta State Polytechnic, Comr. Waka Israel said “as at the time they did the convention, I wasn’t the President of my school, so I can’t tell who among the two of them is the legitimate President.”

The S.U.G President, Adamawa State Polytechnic, Comr. Sa’idu Mohammed, who maintained he is not ready to recognize any of the duo, called for a proper election. “Although, I wasn’t at the convention, I do not recognize any of the self-acclaimed Presidents. Both of them have been calling me. The only way I can recognize them is when they call all the SUG Presidents of all polytechnics and organize proper election. Otherwise, they are only representing their own interest and not the interest of the Nigerian polytechnic students.” He added.

In the same vein, the immediate Past National President of NAPS, Comr. Mohammed Eneji who it was gathered by CAMPUS FOCUS to had operated during his tenure as a factional President, noted that the only recognized National President who he handed over to is Benedict. “I organized the convention in Edo and Benedict emerged. I handed over to him just few weeks ago at Ibadan. The rest were just desperate young men fighting to get to power at all cost,”

When contacted, the former factional President during Mohammed Eneji’s regime, Comr. Mohammed Sani Hassan said “Are you not aware of the entire process, I will send you somebody else to confirm from him”

Disclosing what led to the creation of factions, one of the participant at the convention who is also the SUG President, Federal School of Statistics, Manchok Campus, Kaduna state, Comr. Peter Sylvanus, stated that, there were some irregularities that occurred at the convention.
“To be sincere with you, the convention had some irregularities that led to the creation of two camps separating the convention into two and holding their elections separately and that is what gave rise to what we have in our hands now.”

Affirming there were irregularities at the convention, one of the contestants, Abdullahi Nasiru from the Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa said he had to withdraw following issues that erupted.
“well it is true that I contested at the last convention, but due to some issues, I backed out but for somebody to say I stepped down for somebody I think you need to get the story right.”

Speaking on some of the issues that erupted, the Convention Secretary Collins Osele noted that security agencies should have arrested Sunday Adekanbi for presenting himself as NAPS President.

His words: “The convention was held and Benedict emerged as the authentic President of NAPS. You see people can fool anyone but they cannot fool everybody. Something like this have happened before and we came together to hold a unity convention. Infact, am closer to the Sunday’s faction because he was with our faction then. But the fact is that, I will be going against my conscience if I decide to go with Sunday when I know he is wrong on this.

He said “The truth is Benedict has more work to do in regards to this. Another thing is that, the Security Personnel are not helping matters, because during the convention, we made sure that all Aspirants signed an oath to standby whatever plays out from the convention and copies of the outcome was given to security agencies. After the convention, this people who didn’t contest and having seen what was on ground went somewhere and declared themselves.

“What the security is supposed to do, is to arrest them. Even Benedict is supposed to also play an active role to arrest them and the fact will come out after that. What is happening is that, some current SUG presidents in some institutions who just emerged into office don’t understand what is happening and are easily fooled. Majority of them didn’t attend the convention where the election took place, they emerged in their school and somebody just came up to present himself as the national president. They don’t have option and maybe the person is the first person to show up, so I don’t blame them. They just have no option but to accept.

“I think it has come to the point that people should stop to feel they can do whatever they want. They should be ready to follow whatever result is on ground and not try to mingle things thereby causing confusion.” He said

On his part, the Convention Vice Chairman, Comr. Salahudeen Lukman, disclosed how he led the other faction to conduct a separate election when issues erupted at the convention.

His words: “The Convention Planning Committee (CPC), which made up of former leaders of the association was constituted by two outgoing factional leadership, after pea e talk and unity pre-convention. The CPC discussed the choice of venue and some members wanted Edo State including the Chairman of the CPC, because of hope to get some money from the State Government was they were preparing for the governorship election.

“I objected to the idea, alongside some other member of the CPC on the ground that, Edo State is cultist prone and for free and fair election to be achieved. Also, looking at its distance from School for those of us from the North, hence, I and others proposed Abuja as central and for adequate security.

“The matter dragged for long as two outgoing factional president later strike deal on the sharing formula of whatever proceed gotten from Edo State and one of the factional President who first raised the observation before some of us in the committee took it up, surprisingly swift position to support the Pro-Edo caucus. Then, we had to let go as they became majority in number.
“We decided to go to Edo State. Before then, we informed the DSS on the dangers in Edo and the possibility of division as anyone who felt cheated in Edo will ride on the excuse to declare faction.

“Getting to Edo, the CPC chairman and his Pro-Edo caucus collected money from one of the Aspirant, Olalere Benedict and also the State Government support fund.

“Meanwhile, at a point at the convention, I personally approached the Chairman for the list of accredited school and since ASG who Constitution empowers to conduct accreditation is absent. He told me, no need that they are going for Endorsement Rally for the State Governor that very Saturday morning when we were supposed to conduct our election.

“I also asked, why are we staying back at event center in benin instead of the State Polytechnic as the officially announced venue. He claimed the Polytechnic didn’t give them approval and to ease the Endorsement Rally mobilisation, they want to use the centre. I didn’t argue further, I informed others that we should wait for their return from the rally.

“We waited at the event center, when they arrived, they commenced the election activities without calling for CPC meeting for briefing. They just called all the presidential Aspirants, that they have concluded to announce Olalere Benedict as President and others should step down. Then that triggered anger.

“I persuaded all the Aspirants when they came to inform me that the CPC Chairman said such. I then called the remaining 5 aspirants for an emergency meeting. Nasir Abdullahi, Adekanbi Sunday, Ibrahim Seriki, Dio Oghale all came to the hotel for the meeting, I told them to ignore the Chairman and his cohort charade, that once they agree to work with mutual understanding. I and other members of the CPC will get another venue and we shall convey the Senators to the venue for election proper.

“Two presidential Aspirants and 7 other Aspirants agreed while two other presidential Aspirant vow to declare self-elected and one announced his voluntary withdrawal from the contest because of the controvercies.

“I took all the Aspirants interested in election alongside other CPC committee members to one primary school I sourced for venue and conducted the election. I forwarded the report to the DSS and Police. The DSS, Edo State command also monitored it as we carried him along on all the protest and moves.

“That is how they went ahead to declare Olalere unopposed. Akogun and SERIKI declared self-president and Senate president elect. I conducted election for Adekanbi and Dio Ogale and Adekanbi won and we unanimously compensated Dio Ogale with solidary to win Senate President and others emerged. Nasir Abdullahi withdrawn completely.

When asked the next line of action to settle the current factional drama, Lukman said “This is not the first time they imposed people. In 2014, I suffered similar problem. They imposed someone over me despite my popularity as Contestant, it led to factions. In 2015, they did same. That is the best or we dissolve them all to form CTC then conduct fresh elections in six-month time.

While also speaking on the issue, the Convention Chairman, Comr. Olu Jacob accused the media for reporting news story for the opposition faction without investigation while also backlashing security agencies for not arresting Sunday Adekanbi.

His words: “By the grace of God, I happened to be the Chairman of the last NAPS Convention which took place in Benin, Edo State. Yes, Sunday Adekanbi was one of the contestants. He came to the convention, but never participated in the election and Benedict Olalere won the election unopposed because other people stepped down for him.

“I was surprised when I saw him throwing himself around claiming to be NAPS President. Even from the record of the SSS, they are aware he is never a NAPS President, there is no record.

“It is just unfortunate that we are in a country that anything goes. Anyone can just wake up and call himself anything. If it’s in a developed Society, Sunday Adekanbi is supposed to be cooling off in a prison cell for impersonating the 2nd largest organization in Africa.

He said “Thank God you are calling to confirm, it’s because you know the modus and operandi of your profession. But I still see some journalists that are reporting his news and still say he is releasing a press statement because of the stipend he will give them, they will be carrying his news without doing verification, is it normal. Somebody that never contested in an election, sincerely it’s unfortunate. I will even implore you, do your investigation to their various institutions. He is not a student of the School he is claiming. We just did Benedict inauguration just two weeks ago. We did it in his Campus, what about Akinlabi, do they know him in his school. They don’t.

When asked the way out of the disagreement, he said “The solution is for the security agency to take charge and do what is necessary since they have reports on the elections. We have had similar issues before and we resolved but there was no difference.” He added.

In a bid to confirm the studentship of the duo, CAMPUS FOCUS, contacted the Deans, Students Affairs of both Institutions.

Speaking in a phone chat for Sunday Adekanbi, the Dean of Students Affairs, Kaduna State Polytechnic, Mr. Farouq Musa said “Yes I knew him to be one of our Student, of the Department of Chemical Engineering, and I knew in a certain time he had carryover and if someone has that, you know the person is a student but his current status can only be determined by the head of his department.”

Similarly, for Benedict Olalere, the Dean, Students Affairs, Federal Cooperative College, Eleyele, Ibadan, Mr. Segun Ogunrekun said “If you want to find out about his status, come to the school instead.”

However, the Convention that led to the creation of the two factions, was preceded by inauguration of Olalere Benedict Executives on the 19th March, 2020 at the Main Auditorium of Federal Cooperative College, Ibadan, while Sunday Adekanbi’s Executives Inauguration earlier proposed for the 27th & 28th March, 2020 at Abdulgasau Polytechnic, Talata Marafa, Zamfara State was postponed following the directives of the federal government on social distancing over the outbreak of Covid-19.

As at the time of filing this reports, the executives of Sunday Adekanbi faction are: Anidi Samuel of Federal Polyttechnic Ekowa, Bayelsa as Vice President External Affairs, Collins Chinedu of Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Imo State as Vice President Special Duties, Dio Oghale Emeka of Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi Uku of Delta State Polytechnic as Senate President, Ibrahim Adam Isah of Kwara State Polytechnic as Deputy Senate President, Comr. Peter Ayuba of Kaduna State Polytechnic as Secretary General while Comr. Olufemi Ebenezer of Federal Polytechnic Bida, Niger State, is the Director of Media and Publicity.

For Benedict Olalere faction, the executive members are: Module Dumba of Ramat polytechnic, Maiduguri as Senate President, Adogbeji Blessing of Delta State Polytechnic -V. P National, Oladimeji Ajibola of Federal Polytechnic Bida as V. P External, Innocent Okoh of Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo-V. P Special Duties, Nwankwo Udochukwu Federal Polytechnic Oko – V. P South East, Umar Jafaru omeiza of Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja -V. P North Central, Nnamdi Azubuike of Yaba College of Technology-V. P South West, Fadoju Oyinkunle of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo – Financial Secretary, Yahaya Saliu of Federal Polytechnic Mubi – V. P North East, Bilikisu Moh’d of Jigawa State Polytechnic-Treasurer, Yahaya Zika of Federal Polytechnic Auchi – Deputy Senate President, Christopher Excel of Nuhu Bamali polytechnic, Zaria-P. R. O, Aminu Usman of Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja – National Provost, Soetan Olushola kazeem of Federal cooperative college Ibadan-Secretary General, Bitrus Babylon of Adamawa State Polytechnic-Director of Sport, Alika Loveth of Federal Polytechnic Auchi-Director of Gender, Mansur Abdulrazaq of ABDU Gusau Polytechnic, Talata. Zamfara-Ex-Officio 1, Adeniyi Temitope Bolawaji of Fed Poly Ede- Director of Contact and Strategic planning, Henry Humphrey Nwosu of Fed Poly Nekede-Vice President Campus Affairs, Sammy Sikiru Jimoh of Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin-Director Travel and Exchange, Ajiboye Babatunde of Institute of Management science Oshogbo – Director of conflict and crisis intervention, Aminu Abubakar Galadanchi of Kano state school of Technology-VP Northwest, Vilret Samuel of Plateau State polytechnic-National ASG while Sheneni Ewala of Nasarawa State Polytechnic is the National Mobilization officer.

To Read more on this report Click to Download E-Newspaper Vol. 1, No. 4

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