ASUU Strike: NANS Has Failed Nigerian Students By Sadiq Ibrahim Ayuba
National Association of Nigerian students (NANS) is the mother of all Nigerian universities unionism which ought to be a body that fights for rights and privileges of students and to ensure that we have good Education system and sound academic environment alongside with ASUU and other student bodies. In those years when NANS was NANS there was unity among all Nigerian students with the spirits of oneness that comprises of young vibrant, energetic and student minded union. Wherever they call for assembly of students across the federation, they will match until they see the light of the day.
History has informed us how students struggle for the independent of Nigeria and also how students stood against the SAP implementation in Nigeria in 1992 and so many movements for emancipation of our rights.
The irony in NANS of today is quite alarming when the leadership in NANS was dictated by stakeholders who are Non- students or university drop out, who are in the forefront of NANS affairs to manipulate and maneuver issues according to what suit them and their Godson. It will not be an exaggeration to say that NANS of today is full of impersonated and factional teams who are more corrupt than some Nigerian politicians.
The ongoing nationwide ASUU strike that has lasted for 8 weeks has paralyzed academic activities in Nigeria due to the failure of the federal government to implement the 2009 agreement is quite catastrophic for Nigerians and a shame for Nigerian government as the giant of Africa, who are blessed with abundant natural and human resources. If it is not that health workers are on strike, it is bad road network, no water supply and bad environmental conditions pr that electricity is privatised.
The scenario has reached its zenith as series of meetings and negotiations between ASUU delegates and FG representatives ended up deadlock, to the extent that ASUU has pulled out of negotiations> what we would see very is that the FG will declare ‘no work no pay,’ a decision that may further aggravate the already tensed situation.
Where Nigeria politicians are paid millions of naira every mouth as take home pay, apart from other allowances; a country where 6 million naira is spent every day in Mr. President Kitchen and billions of naira for his welfare and yet cannot afford 92 billion naira for striking lecturers, just because their children are not studying in Nigerian universities is pathetic.
The situation at hand needs the intervention of Third parties to resolve the impasse between the two fighting elephants, which will mediate and call for dialogue so that issues will be resolved. Thisare the traditional rulers, the Nigerian Generals, the statesman, the elite and of course the Nigerian students. The best in position to fight for the students over this matter is the students umbrella, which is NANS, but NANS executives are stooges of FG whose interest is to safeguard the reputation of President Jonathan calling for the sack of the Minister of Education and Minister of Labour and Productivity, so that they will be used in 2015 polls and be given millions of naira like it happened during the fuel subsidy protest. The leadership of NANS led by Yinka Gbedo has failed Nigerian students which whass jettisoned the interest of the students, but using strike to make money for their pocket. They have failed to organize a peaceful demonstration against FG’s refusal to fully implement the 2009 agreements but rather calling for state of emergency in ministry of Education.
We are tired of press release, we need action and we have constitutional back up in peaceful assembly. If not history will repeat itself as was seen in 1993 when ASUU under the leadership of Prof. Attahiru Jega, the current Chairman of INEC went on an 8 months old strike.
The leadership should be able to consulate beliefs as well as mobilize its members and the citizenry for positive action. The leaders should commune emotionally with their followers. They should not be selfish individuals who ride on the back of the people in order to achieve personal goals and ambitions. The goals of the leadership must not be at variance with those of the followers. Like national leadership, the leaders of the movement must be ready to suffer severe deprivation in the interest of the people. No matter how important or effective the leaders may be, the qualities that endear them to his people may soon fade away, if they operate in ideological vacuum. Even if they manage to cope as most charismatic leaders do, things could be very difficult for his successors. This is why the issue of ideology is linked with leadership. Until then, we can say aluta continue Victoria acerta!
Sadiq Ibrahim Ayuba (SQ)
Student of Power and Political Analyses (BUK)
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