National Confab: An Open Letter to NANS President and Other Students’ Reps By Ismael Taiwo
Calvary greetings to you all, it is my pleasure to write you this open letter and I hope it will be treated with utmost good faith. For the sake of posterity, as Martin Luther King Jnr says in his quote that “The hottest heaven is reserved for he who keeps mute at the time of moral conflict. It is very germane to write you this piece at this time of disunity among students’
leaders. It is on this note I will now go straight to my OPEN letter:
ABUSE OF POWER
Although, the names of the students’ representatives have been finally published, but for the sake of posterity I must tell you and your aides that you did not go through due process before the names were sent to the Federal Government. It is so sad that we the youth are lamenting on our leaders for embarking on arbitrary rule without taking a critical look at our own side of leadership. Let it be stated to your hearings that Nigerian students entrusted you with the president of NANS in a bid to give a proper representation at all levels either at the national, state or local level and you are to be accounted to them when the need arises. You should have paved way for democratic process by calling for a congress of each zone since we all know that the slots for the confab were given to the Nigerian students based on the six geo-political zones we have. But instead of doing this, you singlehandedly picked delegates to the CONFAB with your own discretion.
Although, yesterday has gone; today has come and we are focused on tommorow. Mr President, the delegates have been published but the bone of contention now is the ability of the delegates to discharge their responsibilities at the CONFAB. The D-Day is nearer, in a twinkle of an eye we would have the CONFAB.
Based on my own school of thought, I think your major concerns now at the CONFAB should be totally based on the WELFARISM of the Nigerian students. I am very glad that you were at the burial of the late NANS President, Comrade Chief Segun Okeowo and you saw how people in all nook and crannies of this country trooped in to celebrate the indellible mark laid by the “Alli Must Go” struggle Hero. Let me remind you all that whatever we do today will be used to adjudge us and posterity will judge us with respect to our deeds; it is on this note I will remind you all of this quote of great Philosopher, Socrates – Worthless people live only to eat and drink but people of worth eat and drink only to live. I want you all to eat and drink today so as to live tommorow, see the CONFAB as a means of challenging our government to better the lives of the Nigerian students. What should be our major concerns at the national CONFAB based on my own point of view are:
A. FREE AND QUALITATIVE EDUCATION FOR ALL
Free and qualitative education for all Nigerian students; our economy can only reflect positively in our lives only if our education is free and standard. In a situation where we have half-baked graduates injecting into our societies, the only outcome of this is tremendous decline in the growth of our economy.
B. EMPLOYMENT FOR OUR GRADUATES AND THE PAYMENT OF CERTAIN STIPEND FOR OUR UNEMPLOYED GRADUATES TILL WHEN THEY GET JOBS
Another major concern of those that will be representing us should be totally based on the creation of employment opportunities for the teeming youths. A nation that shows no concern on the increase in the statistical investigation of unemployed youth will definitely dig its grave. There should be adequate employment opportunities and also there should be payment of certain stipend to our unemployed graduates until they get jobs. This will reduce the societal imbalances usually caused as a result of unemployment.
C. INDEPENDENT UNIONISM AND END TO THE VICTIMIZATION OF STUDENTS’ ACTIVISTS
It is very important that we stress further for the demand of independent unionism and end to the victimization of student leaders. We must tell our government that enough is enough of their oppressing tools being spearheaded by the Vice-Chancellors, Rectors and Provosts of our tertiary institutions. The only way to succeed in building leaders who are intellectually and morally sound for nation building is to pave way for our student leaders to exercise their responsibilities without any hindrance because students’ union is a training ground for the future leaders.
If the above mentioned with your own point of view can be our watchwords at the CONFAB, I am very sure that at the end if our requests are granted and totally implemented we would have cause to rejoice.
Let me use this media also to implore you and other representatives to ensure that you use the platform to agitate for the improvement in the standard of living of the entire Nigerians through a robust policy.
It is on this note I will end my OPEN letter with these words: The man dies in him he who keeps mute in the face of tyranny – Wole Soyinka. Our leaders are tyrants that don’t want us to challenge and speak the words of truth to them whenever they are embarking on wrongdoings. It is now left to you all to choose whether you want to let the spirit of manhood dies in you or you want to retain the spirit.
Over to you all, you have all come on behalf of the entire Nigerian students and you have seen the plight of the Nigerian students; may you now conquer for us.
Comr Ismael Taiwo (TCOOL)
NANS-JCC PRO, Oyo State
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