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LAGOS, NIGERIA.     Tuesday, April 08 2003






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NANS backs Okotie's presidential bid

OFFICIALS of the executive of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) yesterday paid a solidarity visit to the presidential candidate of Justice Party (JP), Rev. Chris Okotie at his campaign headquarters in Lagos.

The students were led by Mr. Andrew Osadebe, vice-president (external affairs), Mr. Ernest Ehiemua, public relations officer and Mr. Anslem Nebeife, senate president.

They told Okotie that NANS showed its support for him because of his courage for making himself available for service to humanity and Nigeria in particular.

In his speech, Ehiemua said the support of Nigerian students for Okotie's presidential bid was neither based on ethnic nor religious sentiments, but because he symbolises generational change.

Lamenting the protracted strike embarked upon by university teachers, Ehiemua said Nigeria had the resources to fund education but because of the selfish interest of the present government to dominate the political scene, it became very difficult for them to give education adequate attention.

On his part, Osadebe said the association came to show solidarity "with a man whom we have taken our passion to support in the April 19 polls".

He noted that the students became more convinced about the need to back Okotie after the presidential debates where Okotie outlined his programme of action on how to move the nation forward.

His words: "We have been watching all the candidates for sometime and after the debate, it became clearer that he possesses the leadership qualities needed to move Nigeria forward. And we have gone through the manifestos and found out that JP is the best. We shall mobilise to ensure your victory".

Responding to NANS gesture, Okotie expressed gratitude to the leadership of the students' association and promised them that he would not fail if elected the president in the April 19 polls.

He lamented the low level of morale among the youths, expressing disgust over what he called the lack of foresight on the part of those leading the country.

While promising that his administration would improve the educational sector, Okotie expressed his appreciation to the students, noting that with the support of the students who represent 50 per cent of the youths in the country, he was set to win.

For him, youths who are leaders of tomorrow should be cared for. "Anyone who attempts to destroy the youths of his country is a traitor", he said.

Nebeife later presented NANS resolutions at its executive council meeting in Abuja to Okotie.


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