The National Association of Kogi State Students (NAKOSS) has appealed to Governor Yahaya Bello to approve the payment of the 2019 bursary allowance of its members across higher institutions in the country before the November 16 governorship election in the state.
They said the payment would help to stem any intended protest by screened aggrieved higher institutions students of the state who had yet to benefit from the 2019 bursary payment.
The National President of the association, Moses Audu, made the appeal at a press conference, after a meeting of all heads of Kogi students associations held at NAKOSS Secretariat in Lokoja on Tuesday.
Mr Audu said the press conference was organised to further unite Kogi students, discuss issues of bursary payment, and to thank the governor for all he had done for them.
He commended the governor for all he had done for Kogi students especially the bursary increment by 300 per cent, which many students who registered were approved and paid in 2018.
He said no state governor had ever made such increment as high as 300 per cent in the history of Kogi and Nigeria, saying the students would forever be grateful to the governor.
The president, however, complained that the 2019 bursary had not been paid and appealed to the governor to pay the money as soon as possible.
“As we have negotiated in the past, we are not unaware of bursary’s screening currently ongoing for all registered Kogi students across the country.
“We are pleading with your Excellency that the screening should be completed and the bursary should be paid in earnest before the November 16 governorship election.
“The screening should be completed as soon as possible so that Kogi students can smile to the election and fully endorse your Excellency.
“We know you have done a lot for us in the past and we are confident that you will do it again, so that we will not have a divided house going into the elections,” he said.
He called on all students aggrieved on the issue to discard the idea of any protest, while noting that those behind the planned protests were not real students but were doing that for selfish benefits.
“We want to say emphatically that there is no protest that will happen in Kogi, because we cannot endanger the lives of our dear students and the life of any individual.
“This is election period and hoodlums will be ready to hijack whatever Kogi students will want to do. So, on that note, there is no protest that will happen under our reign,” he said.
Mr Audu said the association had enjoyed lots of support from the state government, such as scholarships, renovation of schools, hostels, and provision of relief materials for students of Federal University Lokoja (FUL) affected by flood.
He called for more security presence in all campuses across the state to ensure the safety of lives and property in schools.
The students’ stakeholders present at the press conference include: Presidents of all Students’ Union Governments (SUGs), Presidents of all local NAKOSS and heads of various students associations in all the higher institutions across the state.