By Khalid Sunusi Kani
With deep sense of concern and embitterment, I have resolved to discuss an important topic that would appeal to any progressive student in Nigeria. The reason and purpose of this Write-up is to bring to limelight the deterioration of student unionism in Nigeria and the retrogressive attitude of students union leaders which is threatening to ruin the ideals of student unionism and to bury the bright future of our dear country.
Reflecting on history, students union leaders were known to be defenders of students interests. They sacrificed their money and precious time to promote the welfare of the students they represent. They go as far as sacrificing their lives and career to stand up for their colleagues.
Today, the condition of student unionism is worrisome, the desire of some students for union leadership is not driven by passion and commitment to public service, but rather for fame and to advance personal interests. Many students union leaders nowadays are into the habit of using their privilege to organize unreasonable award ceremonies in the name of ‘solicitation’, where undeserved persons are awarded.
The criteria for eligibility are usually not based on merit, but by one’s ability to give financial support. The money realize from such solicitations are usually embezzled among the ranks of the unions. Thus, such students union leaders can be correctly described as ‘professional beggers’.
Students Union leaders do spend extravagantly on their girlfriends in and out of the campus, because some of them had the intention of becoming S. U. G or NANS officials to gain acceptance of the females. Which is embarrassing! It would have been better if all the efforts were directed to solve the myriad of problems on our campuses but unfortunately the cankerworm of greed has eaten deep into the root of our moral and ethical values.
Many students union leaders today lack the courage to stand their ground in defence of students and are easily bribed to nip any issue that disobliges students in the bud. This decay in student unionism portrays a serious danger for the future of our country since majority of these breeds will end up in mainstream politics, and if they carry these attitudes along, it means the cycle of corruption and ineptitude in Nigerian politics and governance is getting reinforced and would continue in a never ending cycle.
So it is high time for Nigerians especially students to rise up to this challenge to sanitize student politics and save student unionism from dilapidation and restore its ideals and lost glory.
It’s not too late to correct our mistakes my fellow comrades, to me this is not a mistake but its repetition over and again that qualifies it as a huge, gigantic and unforgivable mistake. YES WE CAN do it, because I believe in harmony ordinary minds can come up with extraordinary things. Let’s put our hands together and revive the system and to ascertain a better Nigeria for posterity. YES WE CAN!
Kani, a level 500 medical student at Bayero University, Kano (BUK) wrote this piece and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org