Newsie Events:- #Opinions By Caleb Onyeabor
While young persons were busy in the fight against injustice and police brutality in Nigeria, a certain Bamidele who I understand was president of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) got impeached by his colleagues for alleged embezzlement of 96 million naira. Following the impeachment, Bamidele has been replaced by another member of the NANS cabal who before his emergence as NANS new president held the position of one of the Vice Presidents of the student body.
The impeachment of Bamidele and the news of his corrupt scandal did not come as a surprise to me. NANS is a body of kleptocratic and hopelessly corrupt group of persons who are moving from one office of one politician to another parading themselves as voices and representatives of Nigerian students with the intention of duping their benefactors into releasing funds which they will share among themselves, move on to their next target and repeat the cycle again.
Should we talk about how they frequent Abuja only to come back with expensive cars? Should we talk about the millions of naira that SUG executives in our various campuses embezzle mindlessly? The only difference between NANS and Nigerian political elites is that one is a microcosm of the other, exhibiting the exact criminal traits of our politicians.
All through my education in Nigeria, NANS only existed on the pages of the newspaper and on TV screens where they take pictures and hold useless meetings with politicians and like these politicians, make declarations that they will never fulfill.
When it is time to fight for the rights of students, they are always nowhere to be found. When it is time to advance the cause of student welfare, they, like a dysfunctional penis, are missing in action.
It is unfortunate that NANS is a reflection of the character of the Nigeria State where position of authority automatically translates into access to wealth.
When you complain about old leaders who have refused to leave power and have continued to recycle themselves, you will find this obnoxious practice too in NANS. Most of them have been students all their lives. You will wonder if they ever graduate. In a bid to continue to milk the cow dry, they either fail to graduate or continue enrolling into study programmes not because they want to study but because they like our politicians want to continue bearing the student tag to justify their continuous grip on leadership positions in the apex student body.
If only you knew what NANS was in the 70s and 80s, if you knew how NANS made military governments tremble by fighting for the rights of students and at the forefront of the struggle for a better Nigeria, you will realize the current NANS as it is today is garbage. A body made of hungry vultures and ludicrously loquacious individuals with no other intention than to plunge and pillage the commonwealth of the Nigerian student.
This is why the older generation will not take this generation seriously after all the people leading the biggest youth body in Nigeria are like them. This is why I refuse to be tempted to accept the narrative that youths will do better. Not when the youths are these thieves that are in NANS. Sadly enough, the skewed political system we are practicing makes it easier for these thieves in NANS to be the one to replace the thieves in national assembly and various government positions when they eventually retire. These Thieves in NANS will now take over from the thieves in government and this is the Aluta continua that they understand.
Perhaps, if this generation intends to clean up the mess of the older generation, it would have to start by cleaning up itself.
Caleb Onyeabor is a Nigerian intellectual, an avid advocate for political justice, social justice, and economic justice. Author of Diary of a Messed Up country. Follow him on Twitter via twitter.com/caleb_onyeabor
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