Students unionism in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions has been passive. National Association of Nigerian Students has since become a propaganda tool for the government.
Students leadership that is supposed to collaborate with the academic and non academic staff in their various institutions is fraternising with the political class for contract jobs.
It may sound untrue but it is a fact that the president of NANS, Mr. Sunday Asefon uses police escort and on his vehicle number plate is written Mr. President.
Nobody told me this, I saw it and it speaks loud about how Students Union leaders live luxury life. The spirit of comradeship is dead, students unionism is about “chop chop” in Nigeria today.
What ASUU is fighting for goes beyond its personal needs, it concerns the students and parents, however it’s unfortunate that key stakeholders in this struggle have been docile for so long.
Last week, the Nigeria Labour Congress embarked on a solidarity strike with ASUU, which lasted for two days in Lagos, FCT Abuja and some states in the country.
However, like its previous rallies, the exercise had only swelled up NLC protest record, it had changed nothing as ASUU announced the extension of its strike by four weeks on Monday.
The students and their parents could only lament and cry over the extension, they seem to have lost all ideas on how to engage the government or violently express their displeasure with the authorities.
Perhaps the students are docile because unionism in many institutions had been incapacitated by university authorities themselves.
Quite a good number of institutions have banned Students Union activities on campuses on the excuse of cultism while a few vice chancellors who allow student unionism, according to investigation, rubber-stamp the students leadership to run their own agenda.
This is the best time ASUU, NASU and other associations in tertiary institutions need students involvement in the search for varsity autonomy and quality education but they cannot enjoy this solidarity because the academics themselves have subdued the students.