NANS, Cleanse Thyself- An Open Letter To The Yinka Gbadebo Led Students Body By Solanke Abiola

By Solanke Abiola
Fraternal greetings to the leadership of
the National Association of Nigerian
Students[NANS] led by our erudite and
indefatigable Comrade Yinka Gbadebo
'Ayefele'. I hope my letter meets you well.
Kudos on the struggles so far in
advocating for the rights of Nigerian
students.May the spirit of Aluta continue
to back us up and may we never stumble.
Please, permit me to delve into history a
In 1925, an umbrella body for Nigerian
Students, the West African Students Union
(WASU) was formed to defend the right of
Nigerian Students. In 1956, it
metamorphosed into National Union of
Nigerian Students (NUNS) which later
became the National Association of
Nigerian Students (NANS).
In 1980, NANS became the umbrella body
of Nigerian Students. The body is meant to
defend the interest of Nigerian Students
all over the country and ensure that the
right of its members are defended at all
times. NANS was a strong movement in the
80’s and 90’s which moved against the
military junta and became the albatross of
oppressive governments in the country.
It is thus unfortunate that NANS has lost
its relevance as a Voice for Nigerian
Students, it has become a sounding cymbal
which does not add harmonious tunes to
songs. It is no longer the voice of Nigerian
Students and thus has lost credibility
among many Nigerian Students.
At the commencement of the strike action
by ASUU on July 2, 2013, its National
President Dr Nasir F. Isa lamented the
state of the Students body especially
NANS. Dr Nasir stated the obvious truth
that most student leaders in the country
especially at the level of NANS were
possible drop-outs, government agents,
Youth Corps members and individuals of
questionable characters. He stated further
‘’ As a Union with a stake in the future of
our youths and nation, ASUU shall use her
networks to monitor and identify the true
status of those who currently parade
themselves as student leaders nationwide.
We are determined to indigenise student
unionism in our campuses’’. Thus, it has
gotten to the point where Staff Unions are
interested in helping us cleanse our house,
what a shame!!
Just like our respected uncle, Agbo Agbo
said in his article of March 21, 2013. ‘Is all
well with the House of NANS?’, student
leaders who are supposed to be groomed
for everything noble are already in the
same track with our ‘’leaders’’. The current
NANS headed by Com. Gbadebo Yinka
(Ayefele) has now become notorious for
spurious, unguarded and ill-thought
statements which has not only made the
body a toothless dog but has made it lose
relevance in Government circles unlike in
the 80’s and 90’s when the ‘cough’ of NANS
sent shivers down the spine of government.
Following the wake of the crisis at
Nassarawa state University, Keffi (NSUK),
Gbadebo issued a statement in which he
‘directed’ Nigerian Students to begin a
series of civil disobedience against Gov
Tanko Al- Makura until the killers of the
NSUK 4 are brought to book.he further
added ’’ In the meantime, we hereby
declare the suspension of every co-operation with the government of Nigeria
and declare Emperor Tanko Al-Makura
persona non-grata at all public functions
until those culpable are brought to book’’.
Was it the Governor who ordered soldiers
to shoot the Students?, Was it not
reported that the Deputy Governor of the
state gave the NANS leaders who went to
Nassarawa 10 million to whittle down their
threat or what has become of the
Investigations which NANS said it will
launch to determine the remote and
immediate cause of the crises?
On the 8th of June, 2013, Gbadebo issued
a statement in which he called on the Oyo
State government to address some issues
or risk massive protests that may shut
down the state. Some of the issued raised
includes Compensation of business owners
whose legal business were destroyed
without compensation in the State
Governments Urban Renewal project,
promulgation of transport scheme to meet
the need of the people of Oyo State,
conducting elections into the various SUG
in the State owned tertiary institutions.
It has been said that NANS is notorious for
such statements when they need money
from such states. Ever since the 14 days
ultimatum elapsed, those issues have not
been addressed and NANS has refused to
carry out its threat or has it collected its
‘dues’ from the Ajimobi led Government?
When the Senate President of NANS, Com
Donald Ukaogwu lost his life alongside
some other comrades while going to
intervene in the crises at UNIUYO, Gbadebo
hurriedly issued a statement directing
that Nigerian Campuses be shut down to
protest against the death of the Comrades
based on the earlier report that they were
killed by Policemen. Why such hurried and
reckless statement that only ends up
ridiculing the Student body as reports
later ascertained that they were actually
involved in an accident?
I also remember the statement credited to
Gbadebo in which he said NANS were not
consulted by ASUU before embarking on
their nationwide strike and thus Lecturers
should return to classes or their offices
nationwide would be picketed. NANS!.
And just when we thought NANS was
repositioning itself, out of the blues came
yet another blunder when NANS JCC Ekiti
axis threatened to shut down private
universities to force the FG to implement
the 2009 ASUU/FGN agreement.!. This is
not only ridiculous but has brought the
Nigerian students to disrepute.
The current NANS leadership is fast
becoming fond of issuing dud, reckless and
ineffective statements which lacks potency
and is even rejected by the Nigerian
Students the body claims to protect and
thus he needs to check it.
I was having a heated debate with an
ASUU official of the Premier
University(UI)recently about ASUU not
reciprocating students support for their
struggles. I asked him why ASUU did not
consult Nigerian Students before going on
strike. His answer blew me off my feet.
''Who are those that we will consult,?.Is it
your current leadership in which most of
them are not students that we will discuss
with?. We can only discuss with those who
are aware of what is going on in the
Universities not outsiders who are parading
themselves as Student Leaders.'' His
response was as if a sharp sword has
pierced my heart. My heart bled and i
wondered ''so these people know what is
going on''.
There is a need for NANS to review its
current status and make themselves
relevant in the Nigerian polity just like
ASUU, NASU, NUT amongst others. NANS
should ensure that its elections henceforth
are not riddled with unnecessary
controversies. NANS should do an in-house
cleansing and reposition itself for glory. It
should desist from being a tool in the hands
of desperate politicians who do not mean
well for Us. The President, Com. Yinka
Gbadebo should refrain from statements
which end up in the trash bin of history.
Statements coming out from the mouth of
the students apex body must henceforth be
thoroughly thought out before such
statements are made. Enough of empty
statements which cannot lift paper. I
repeat, enough of statements which only
make us laughing stocks in the society.
NANS must return to its pride of place as
the loud voice of Nigerian Students.
(This piece is meant to call our
consciousness to the points raised with a
view to seeing the necessary corrections as
highlighted. We love NANS and that is why
we are chastising it so it can serve its
original mandate. God bless Nigerian
Please pardon me for taking some of your
time in the course of reading this lengthy
In Aluta we wine and dine.
Long Live Nigerian Students
Long Live NANS.
Long Live Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Solanke Abiola is an undergraduate of the
Federal University of Agriculture,

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