By Sunday Ani
A conglomerate of students association in Ogun State under the aegis of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), National Association of Ogun State Students (NAOSS) and the Progressive Students Movement (PSM) have declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Ogun Central Senatorial Zone, Mr. Shuaib Afolabi Salisu, as unfit to represent the people of that senatorial zone, accusing him of intimidating the people with thugs.
A statement jointly signed by the Ogun State NANS chairman, Kehinde Damilola Simeon; NAOSS global president, Ogunrombi Gbemileke Emmanuel; NANS national deputy senate president, Ekundina Segun Elvis; NANS South West coordinator, Adejuwon Emmanuel Olatunji and PSM Nigeria president, Okerafor Bestman, noted that the students were disappointment with Salisu for conducting himself in a shameful manner before the entire people of Ogun State.
The students alleged that on Wednesday, January 18, at the party’s general campaign in Odeda Local Government area, Mr. Salisu mobilised armed thugs in his convoy to intimidate and coerce people to do his bidding. “Some of the thugs started shooting sporadically at the front of the Federal College of Education, Osiele, where students had gathered to welcome the state Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun. It took the special force by the men of the Department of State Service (DSS) to disarm the thugs.
“Again, on Wednesday January 25, at the party’s presidential campaign at MKO Stadium in Abeokuta, the armed thugs once again attacked the state chairman of NANS and the national deputy senate president of NANS carting away their gadgets and other valuables. The students constituency would have mobilised the resources within their reach to match them force for force but to avoid a scenario that would embarrass our peace loving Governor, we maintained orderliness.
“This phenomenon does not portray good character or prospect of a candidate seeking the people’s mandate as a senatorial candidate. We are concerned that should individuals like him be given mandate, our peacefully coordinated state under the leadership of Prince Abiodun would be put at risk. It would be in the interest of the state to reject a personality like Mr. Salisu if the state must continue to enjoy peace. As concerned citizens of the state with pursuit for democratic and peaceful consolidation, we are demanding that the shooting at Osiele be investigated and necessary arrest made,” part of the statement read.
The students alleged that for more than three years as the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Salisu never executed any programme that is youth or student friendly, insisting that for him to now turn around and pretend be interested in the course of young people would not work.
“He just wants to cajole and lobby the constituency for votes. Young people in Ogun State have the discerning knowledge to differentiate a genuine action from a self-seeking move,” they added.
They expressed their support Governor Abiodun’s second term bid insisting that he has shown competence and goodwill as the governor of the state in the last four years, even as they warned that if Mr. Salisu should be allowed to go ahead to mobilise his shenanigans without caution, it would stain the good posture of the governor.
The student body, therefore, declared Salisu as a persona non grata on all the campuses in Ogun State, saying, “He has not portrayed himself in a good manner and should not be allowed anywhere near an institution of excellence which our campuses represent.”