National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, yesterday urged the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to place national interest above party affiliation in the constitution of the in-coming National Assembly.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, the NANS president, Comrade Tijani Usman Shehu said Nigerians were eager to witness the dawn of a new era, saying all hands must be on deck to ensure that the desired positive change was felt in the country.
“You will agree with me that there can be no good governance if the leadership is not effective. That is why the leadership of Nigerian students having observed the move by the All Progressives Congress, APC, in zoning the leadership of the National Assembly, is alarmed that at this critical point in our democracy, zoning is being emphasised above merit.”
He said the National Assembly leadership positions must not be gambled with in order not to lead to situations in the past where leadership which emerged by mere sentiments of zoning failed the country by becoming rubber stamp for the executive.
He noted with concern that while NANS acknowledge the imperative of having national spread in the composition of principal officers in the National Assembly, parochial issues like zoning should not be allowed to overshadow national interest.
According to him, the nation is in a hurry to get good governance, insisting that for this to be achieved, the National Assembly must be robust in its engagement by allowing the right persons to emerge through the rigorous democratic process, instead of the process being allegedly contemplated at the moment.
Comrade Tijani maintained that the APC must bear in mind that it became the pride of most Nigerians when it conducted the presidential primaries in a manner that was adjudged free, fair and transparent, saying it would be fool-hardy for the party to deviate from the standard to which it is been assessed.
Responding to a question, the students leader said NANS’ position over the matter was informed out of a patriotic zeal and not based on any group interest.

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