Home Nigeria News Now NANs Role is to Safeguard Students Not Government – Falana

NANs Role is to Safeguard Students Not Government – Falana

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Human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, expressed concern yesterday that the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has become a government mouthpiece, deviating from the union’s founding motives.

Falana shared these thoughts at the inaugural Yinka Odumakin Inter-faculty Debate and Public Lecture, hosted by the Student Union of Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Osun State.

The barrister emphasized the need for the student body to be realigned towards defending Nigerian students. He stated, “Notwithstanding the opportunism of a few student leaders, NANS should be acknowledged and realigned to protect Nigerian students.

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To this end, the ban on all student unions should be lifted immediately. Student unions ought to work alongside trade unions both on and off campuses to safeguard Nigerians’ right to education. The academic community must resist the dominance of the Nigerian economy by imperialistic forces.

“While students are often referred to as tomorrow’s leaders, they must act to ensure their future is not compromised by a government devoutly implementing neoliberal policies. This mission necessitates the collaboration of all progressive entities within the country, as time is of the essence for Nigerian students.

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“Of late, NANS has echoed the sentiments of reactionary governments, opposing both the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

“The present generation of student leaders needs to understand that NANS’s primary purpose is not to support governments but to represent Nigerian students. Moving forward, NANS should actively promote and protect the interests of Nigerian students, both domestically and internationally.

“NANS must address the tragedy of two students who perished in a stampede at Nassarawa State University during a 7kg rice distribution event.

“Rather than distributing food in a manner akin to feeding animals in a zoo, federal and state governments should institute a social security system to aid vulnerable and indigent citizens. NANS is called upon to lead the charge against student abductions and the exorbitant ransoms that amount to several billion Naira.

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“The government must invest in essential security infrastructure to track kidnappers, terrorists, and so-called unknown gunmen. Nigerians should remain skeptical of claims that the creation of state police is the ultimate solution to the country’s insecurity issues.

“I was a member of the Alliance of Progressive Students (ALPS), a student socialist group, alongside Yinka. During the 1979/80 academic session, I served as the Public Relations Officer of the student union.”

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Ejes Gist Media Limited. For any rights infringements or takedown requests, please contact us at [email protected].
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