Chinua Achebe once said: “when things fall apart, the centre will no longer hold”.
The foundation upon which the great walls of Aluta were built has indeed fallen apart.
This is patent from the recent act of impropriety and unfaithfulness at the Presidential villa by the so-called President of the National Association of Nigerian Students {NANS}, is not only infuriating; but it’s also terrifying.
Now the question I keep asking myself which I’m yet to find a satisfying answer is “Is it the students that failed the system or the system failed the students?”

Though I know how decoying money could be,   ₦150million (as alleged) is such a huge amount to be ignored and is capable of making one change his yearlong volition without a second thought, especially when somebody or a group lacks focus .But one fact I’m sure of without mincing words is that the current Grand Commander of Nigerian Students {GCNS} has failed the students and posterity will never forgive him and his abettors for what they did at the Aso Villa. I’m sure the spirits of our Dead Aluta Warriors, the likes of Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Chinua Achebe are not unaware of their sins and would continue to hunt them for their insincerity till time immemorial.

Obviously, the current NANS administration is deaf to the wailings and tears of the students. I hope the Chief Priests of the kingdom can come to our aid and save our dear kingdom from extinction .

 We all know that “truth is universal”  because we all can feel the truth in our hearts except if we deliberately want to suppress it for our egoistic purposes, even though, no matter how hard we strive to conceal the truth, it surely has a divine way of unleashing itself, that’s its nature. By now, I believe every Nigerian student must have understood that, ASUU is surely and certainly fighting for their benefits and for the revitalisation of our tertiary education system in our dear country.

We receive lectures in halls that look like a Broiler’s cage in a poultry farm with over a thousand students sitting, squatting and standing straining their auditory vessels to hear the lecturer that doesn’t use public address system, in such a hall designed for 500 students sitting capacity. Our libraries are full with outdated textbooks of 2004, 2000, 1984 and later editions with scanty copies of updated ones. The internet cafes boast of desktop computers of the 20th century still using wired connections and operating windows vista and later editions of windows. Don’t even bother coming to the hostels as you would mistake it for an IDP’s camp. In our laboratories, we use one apparatus to a group of ten or more students and you call that practicals__ it’s a pity. And here comes a group of teachers  whose sons and daughters receive the cramped lectures and live in the sardine packed hostels agitating for the betterment of our institutions, a duty ought to be done by our so-called NANS officials. Rather than showing otiose appreciation and unwavering support for their just cause in the interests of Nigerian students, they were so unpolished and unprofessional to fall for the cheap tricks and political deception and end up referring to their teachers that made them what they are as hypocritical and other unprintable names.

In fact, what an adult can see while sitting, a child even on the top of the Mount Everest can never see it.
As a student activist and an Aluta Combatant Comrade in the most peaceful university in Nigeria, it pains me and my heart bleeds when I discovered that while we are busy clamoring  for  a better teaching and enabling learning environment  for our dear colleagues, some  ‘JUDAS’ amongst us could go to the Presidential villa under the auspices of NANS to betray our trust and sell the future of over 80million struggling Nigerian students for as cheap as ₦150million {alleged} , a couple of handshakes and photographs with PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI.

Martin Luther King Jnr, once said, the tragedy of life begins the very moment we keep mute about things that matters.
I was elated when I heard the GCFR of Nigeria would be meeting with the GCNS of Nigerian students and his colleagues. I so much believed it was an avenue for the President himself to hear from the horse’s mouth until I had the privilege to watch and listen to the caliber of people led by our so-called President who were present at the meeting without prior consultation with the SU Presidents of various institutions who are very vital and are supposed to be the priority of the NANS leadership under Comrade Akpan Danielson Bamidele GCNS displaying their cowardice and fighting for their interests rather than fighting for the Nigerian students. I was surprised to see some of the so-called NANS officials wearing shirts and caps drumming support  for President’s second term bid and ignoring their primary assignments.

I could remember we had two NANS Presidents in the last administration and I commend both Comrade Quadri Aruma and Comrade Obasi for synchronizing their opinions together for the sake of peace and a more united NANS devoid of factions. At that point, I was confident that NANS was coming up again to stand for the unalloyed interests of the Nigerian students , until I watched that exasperating and shameful videos, especially where the NANS President Mr. Danielson Bamidele Akpan promised 20million votes to the re-election bid of PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI, I have been wondering where he would get such mouth watering votes to deliver to PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI, if he thinks the Presidential elections  is like NANS convention elections, then he is very much mistaking, what a mess!!!!
Maxwell said and I quote “the unquestionable quality of leadership is integrity”.
Throughout the experiences I have gathered in Student’s unionism, I have never seen, heard nor read of an hypocritical leader like Comrade Akpan.
It is astonishing to know that while he was busy showing loyalty to PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI, promising him 20million votes he doesn’t have, he was a VIP delegate at the 2018 PDP National Convention in PortHarcout, and you tell me such a leader is apolitical.

The NANS President had a great opportunity to showcase his loyalty and integrity to Nigerian students, and that will not stop the constituted authority from recognizing the fact that the NANS President has a capacity within his jurisdiction to pull more than 20 million votes for the PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI. By doing so, he would be killing two birds with a stone; showing loyalty to the President and developing his future political career. He should have taken his time to speak in a manner that the President would sympathize with Nigerian students and find immediate solution to  how students can go back to class.

A perusal look at the vituperations and curses heaped on members of ASUU by the current President of NANS, Comrade Bamidele Akpan made me to wonder where our moral values as students have gone to. Among other things the great President referred to the lecturers under ASUU as primitives and hypocrites, and to the leadership of the union at the national level as having the effrontery not to pick his calls. The President also boasted that he was billed to meet the President of the country at the villa and that he would mobilize the students to flush out the lecturers from their quarters on campuses and send them to the streets to experience the sufferings that Nigerian students are going through. What baffles me, is what or who does he think he is that his call must not go unanswered and will be able to flush lecturers from their quarters. Or has he forgotten that the lecturers he is referring to, taught him from his kindergarten days up till the current masters level he is pursuing, then it’s obvious he is an ingrate.

Initially, I was naturally infuriated and almost lost my composure. But soon after reasoning like a philosopher that , I realized there was no need to be angry. If the NANS President did and said all these things, he was probably not completely wrong. But he was rather advertising himself to the world as a classic illustration of the dead university education in Nigeria and a half baked product of the country’s tertiary education system. If university education in the country is not dead, the NO.1 student of Nigeria would have been better informed about the plight of the nation’s education than  vying for political frivolity. If tertiary education in the country are still breathing, the system would not have brought up this kind of horrible example of a Nigerian student, who would not know what a revitalization fund for universities means and would transmogrify it as lecturers personal gains, let alone such a President understanding that ASUU’s most difficult demands of government is the phased release of this fund, which now stands at ₦1.2trillion to Nigerian universities for the provision of well equipped laboratories, spacious and conducive lecture halls, accommodative and comfortable hostels, uninterrupted power supply among others. After all they stay in well furnished self-contained flats outside the campus, where they have everything at their beck and call.

Moreover, a NANS President of a living Nigerian tertiary education system would have known that ASUU is legally a trade union with the primary obligation to fight for its members welfare and the union has every right to ask for only these rights without necessarily adding universities revitalization funding to its demands just as NANS is legally a student’s body saddled with the responsibility of fighting  for the students’ welfare, improved learning conditions of its members and possibly pressurize the government to release funds for universities , polytechnics, colleges of educations revitalization , rather, what we get is bi-weekly empty threats from NANS to shutdown major highways, chase lecturers from their quarters and so on. But the ignorance of such rights by the NANS executives, made ASUU to help the Nigerian students by adding it to their demands. But such knowledge is clearly beyond the mental capacity and capabilities of the current NANS President and officials who would call ASUU members hypocrites as if the union is constitutionally obliged to add universities funding to its demands to legitimize its demands.

I was on the verge of bursting out my emotions when I realized that’s it’s an election year!!!, the NANS President whose time has come for him to ally with the government of the day to grab his own share of the national booty, not minding what this means to the students who either in their wisdom or ignorance, found him worthy of serving as a specimen of the general failure that has come to characterize our institutions of learning. And that word “learning” has reminded me of another strand of failure, the fact that such a clearly arrogant, morally unkempt and rude character would someday be said to have been found worthy in character and learning, and hence deserving of a certificate from a Nigerian university where he was taught by those he has described as primitive, ignorant and hypocritical all in the name of impressing the President. So when I think about h is outbursts, threats, insults, arrogance and general personality, I subdue in my anger and I choose to rather concur with him that if one of the supposed best among us can only reason and act like this, then the system is far more than poor ASUU members have been thinking.

Unfortunately,  real calamity is that the government whose neglect of education has led us to this shamefully low level of a sample from the nation’s apex institutions is gleefully enjoying the fruits from this investment in ignorance, not minding the global embarrassment. In less than 30 days to the Presidential elections, what matters most now is election and nothing more, after all it shows in the microscopic  allocation of 5.71% to education in the 2019 budget, a  fact that does not bother the naira stuffed and dollar packed NANS President of today.


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