The leadership of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has vowed to mobilise its members nationwide in a “mother of all protest” if the Federal Government goes ahead with the plan to commence school feeding programme at a time when the schools are shutdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
National President of NANS, Comrade Danielson Akpan, who spoke with newsmen on Friday in Abuja, insisted that the programme was a misplaced priority in this time of the nation and a discreet attempt to fleece the country of the hard-earned resources.
He reaffirmed the earlier position of NANS in a statement credited to the National Public Relations Officer of the Association, Comrade Azeez Adeyemi, saying the statement emanated from the national body of NANS and “it is the true and collective position of the students’ umbrella body.
Akpan who made the clarification while reacting to some insinuations that Adeyemi, a Special Assistant to Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, was criticising the President Mohammadu Buhari’s led administration, insisted that Adeyemi expressed the position of NANS, the umbrella body of the entire Nigerian students.
He queried the source of the proposed N697million to be spent daily, amounting to N13.5 billion a month on the programme, stressing that the decision was not only “reckless spending, but also a misplaced priority.”
He said: “It is important to state that Comrade Adeyemi spoke in his capacity as the National Public Relations Officer of NANS and not as the Special Assistant to Governor Dapo Abiodun on Students’ Matters.
“The National body of NANS, led by my able self, Comrade Danielson Akpan after a deliberate and robust discussion on the Federal government’s decision to commence the school feeding programme during a virtual meeting held earlier this morning vehemently reject and condemned in totality the said decision.
“It is quite unfortunate and disturbing that our government at this time is giving priority to a programme that would further encourage wastage of hard-earned resources.
“We condemn in totality the plan to feed school children at home. We see it as an avenue to perpetuate corruption and fraudulent activities.
“We not only condemn this, but we also frown at any attempt by some people to further loot our national treasury. The continuation of the school feeding programme at this period that schools are closed is sheer fraud.
“It is unrealistic, unimaginable and unachievable. There is no justification for it and it must be stopped.
“If the Federal Government goes ahead to implement the programme, we will have no choice than to mobilise our members across the federation for a mother of all protest.
“We, however, called on the Federal government to use the money meant for the execution of this programme for more productive things. The Federal government should channel the money for the school feeding programme for reviving the almost collapsed education system.
“This money can be used to fund infrastructural projects in our tertiary institutions,” Akpan affirmed.