Heavy gunshots on Monday rocked the Pantami stadium in Gombe, venue of the national convention of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS on Monday evening.
The umbrella body of students of tertiary institutions in Nigeria was holding a convention to elect new set of national leaders after years of factionalization of the body.
One of the delegates, Adnan Mukhtar, the secretary of the Students Union in North West University, Kano, informed PREMIUM TIMES that trouble started at about 5:30 pm when a former factional chairman of the association, Prince Miaphen was elected to chair the convention.
He said many students sustained gunshot and machete wounds after a group suspected to be loyal to one of the aspirants to the position of NANS president began shooting and attacking delegates with machetes and knives.
“There has been tension between the supporters of two of the candidates for office of president, Aruna Kadiri and Chinonso Ubasi and matters came to a head when Prince was announced as the chairman of the convention
“Supporters of Chinonso protested the emergence of Prince because they felt it was a ploy to ensure Kadiri wins. Prince was actually the Director General of the Kadiri campaign organization and as chairman of the convention, they felt he can work in favour of Kadiri,”he said.
Mr. Mukhtar said the election of Prince was supervised by the outgoing President of NANS, Tijjani Shehu.
While Mr. Kadiri is a student of Edo State University, Mr. Ubasi, popularly known as IBB, is a student of Ebonyi state university.
Mr. Mukhtar said all the delegates have scampered away for safety, adding that he was not sure anyone would come back to the venue for the convention.
“I can tell you that everyone is in serious fear now, in fact, most people have even vacated the hostel we are staying at Gombe State University for fear of the unknown,” he said.
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