By Mohammed Aliyu Baba
Obviously, to give up responsibilities or worst still, to have a total misplacement of priorities is not only perpetrated by some shenanigan heads of families. We acknowledge the fact that some parents, guardians or family heads do abandoned their God given tasks of raising a responsible family for trivia reasons without thinking of worse repercussions on the lives of their family members. They chose self centredness as their core lane to ride down their lives with a very disorganized schizophrenic syndrome; such is National Association Of Nigerian Students (NANS).
NANS is said to be the umbrella body of all students’ organizations in Nigeria and in diaspora, and the largest students’ movement in Africa.
The ARTICLE II of NANS constitution as revised in May 21st, 2015, NANS has the core responsibilities of campaigning for the enforcement of students rights, academic freedom, youth involvement in good governance, sustenance of democracy and peace building among others.
According to another information made available on the NANS official website, the executives of the so named association took the oath to standstill and struggle for the greater Interest of Nigerian students, where every youth/student has access to, and can afford adequate level of education in the country and beyond.
The question now is: Does NANS executives live and work in line with its mandates? If you ask me, I’ll frankly say ‘no’ because they haven’t done enough in fulfilment of the association’s aims and objectives.
For instance, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been on strike since March 26 this year, and until this moment of penning down this piece, the strike still lingers. A lot of arms of students’ unions, such as: Nigeria Law Students (that sued ASUU at Federal High Court in Abuja), Nigerian University Students Association (NUSA), Students Union Governments (SUG) of various tertiary institutions nationwide and well meaning Nigerians had all laid out their voices in order to bring an end to the prolonged strike by ASUU, but the so called mother of aforementioned associations (NANS) wilched in this regard.
As a matter of fact, NANS silence on critical issues affecting students has become eminent in many instances especially when it comes to industrial action by lecturers as a result of government’s failure to key into their agreements with the union. The scenario that usually affects the students negatively. The executives of the Association seem to be more loyalists of political elites than the vulnerable students. Every set of individuals entrusted to pilot the affairs of the Association tend to listen to the glamouring politicians than the howling students they’re made to represent and protect their interest.
I was listening to the news on radio while writing this article on the 22nd December, and it was reported that the newly elected NANS president visited the rescued or the released Kankara school boys that were earlier abducted. And the president decided to use the avenue to issue ultimatum to FG and ASUU till January 5th,2021 before mobilizing its members for nationwide protest. Imagine NANS waking up to the reality of strike after nine months of academic break down. It is quite mind-boggling to hear a significant cockcrow at dusk Instead of daybreak. Should they be having campaign after elections?
But anyways, this couldn’t be far from the fact that those heading the Association are more of either civil servants or politicians than being students. Take Sunday Asefon the 45 year old newly elected president for instance; he is a civil servant with the Ekiti State government and reportedly a student of Ekiti State University. Definitely, this kind of fellow cannot be too critical with the government who is always the main machinery behind the hindrances in the Nigerian Education sector. But for how long would these humbug acts continue?
There is a serious need for a better change because Nigerian students deserve a better schooling ambiance than the slough they are having now.
I personally deemed it necessary to have the leadership of this Association to be piloted by those who have the blood of studentship running in their veins 24hours in a day, and not those who are students in a partial manner. How do I mean? For this association to be noble, the key actors i.e executives of the association should be undergraduate students. These are people who are fully covered in studentry. And when this is achieved; since the world is now a global village, the Association leadership could now come up with an holistic and well inclusive platforms and activities that would encompass all the students and their subdivisional associations at their respective campuses.
Therefore, the following stringent measures could be helpful to the association’s reawakening. These include; providing online forums, be active and reactive on social media, seek out feedback and apply it, create opportunities to engage with students, track and measure students’activities in their various campuses, create NANS Mobile App and promote its usage, and most importantly, embrace diversity and remain focus.
I actually decided to come up with this little piece because I realized that the new leadership showed the intention to rule with mandate of heaven without an iota of despotic image in view. You hardly heard of NANS in the past until recent. May NANS succeed.
MOHAMMED Aliyu Baba Is A Student Who Writes From Kaduna, Nigeria. He can be reached Via: email@example.com