Change is the only permanent thing in life, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) which used to be a foremost democratic voice in the country degenerated over the last two years. Socialist youths and other genuine activists in the students movement have since then been battling against all odds to revive the Association’s legacy.
The transformation of NANS may be at the Zonal or National level the specific way and manner such could take remains a challenge to the present generation of revolutionary cadres on the campuses. But even a number of reformist student unionists have come to be appalled by the ugly structure interests and politics that are now dominant in NANS where money, politics, “godfatherism” and “stakeholderism” determines it programmes and activities and not the over-riding interests of the rank and file students and struggle in defence of educational rights and for a better society.
The unity of revolutionary activists and some reformist union leaders within the students’ movement might be paving the way to write a new history of NANS in Zone D. This was at Akure on April 15 when the NANS Zonal Executive Committee was dissolved.
This was after Zone D senators and other student activists had been at Akure since Friday April 13, for the Convention scheduled for April 14-15 only to be told by the Zonal Executives that the Convention had to be called off for security reasons.
The senators immediately set up a five man steering committee, comprising F. Joel from O.A.U Ile Ife, Tiku from U.I, “M.K.O” from Ilesa, “Obama” from O.O.U Ago Iwoye and another Senator from TASUED, the above five Comrades make up the new leadership of the zone in acting capacity.
The Steering Committee is to organise for a new Convention within two weeks at Osun state. But beyond the facts of the committee’s emergence, the atmosphere at this botched convention was clear; rank and file student activists are no longer ready to tolerate “business as usual” unionism of money.
Socialist Youth Leaguers will be contesting for offices at the Convention and if elected will ensure that this moment of an opportunity to reclaim the soul of NANS is not lost, particularly as the Zone would be hosting the National Secretariat of NANS from the end of the year.