Being Press Release of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC)’s Youth leaders and Campus mobilisers from across the federation (under the auspices of Campus Congress for Progressive Change (CCPC) in reaction the threat of NANS to Governor Tank Almakura of Nassarawa State yesterday.
The CPC youths and campus mobilizers from across the federation are constrained to react to the utterly irresponsible threat of a faction of NANS led by Comrade Yinka Gbadebo to blacklist Governor Tanko Almakura of Nassaraw state from Nigerian campuses. This reaction is not at all intended to glorify NANS but to put the record straight, believing ultimately that the government and people of Nassarawa state is adequately capable of defending its integrity and administrative competence. No doubt our hearts go out to the families of the innocent students that lost their lives in the hands of the blood-thirsty federal government commissioned army troupes in Nassarawa state.
We hope they will find solace in the fact that their wards gallantly died as true martyrs of the Nigerian students. We however take strong exception to NANS overnight and obviously mischievous grandstanding in Lafia. But for the fact that NANS is obviously suffering from selective justice, one would have reasonably expected NANS to have instead blacklisted President Goodluck Jonathan, who for all intent and purposes is the Commandant in Chief of the Armed forces, and who (not Governor Almakura) controls the machinery of the Nigerian Army that reportedly caused the carnage to the protesting students.
Instead, NANS as usual, has decided to take its loyalty to the PDP to an absurd and ridiculous level by declaring Governor Almakura Persona Non Grata on the Nigerian campuses. It is regrettable that NANS does not know that the best way for the Governor to wield the big stick against the federal agents that perpetrated this carnage against the peaceful students of Nassarawa state and beyond is to first and foremost embark on an on-the-spot assessment of the ugly situation. How then does the governor carry out his duty as the Visitor of the University in the face of a NANS restraining order?
This curious reaction of NANS is as thoughtless a decision as it is feckless and reckless. Blackmailing Governor Tanko Almakura, himself a student activist in his hay days in school, who has been the champion of students’ right and dignity, and who has in concrete terms supported our student colleagues that are ‘gifted’, insult the memory of the student martyrs who died in the hands of the federal troops. They must be turning in their graves by now!
By doing the bidding of the PDP, the Yinka Gbadebo-led faction of NANS has brought NANS to an all-time low and betrayed its history and the legacy of its founding fathers. We recall that this is the same shameful manner Mr. Jude Imagwe carried about his NANS leadership throughout the period of the last general elections, while also hounding progressive student activists from equally campaigning for the candidates of their choices on the Nigerian campuses. And that is why some of us were not surprised when his godfathers in the Presidency handsomely compensated his ignoble outing with a ‘Special Adviser’ position for a job ‘well done’.
NANS in recent times has descended so low that only the highest bidder could afford to be its ally, notwithstanding that students should be its primary constituency. What NANS has done has no other name other than infantilism, perfidy of the highest order and gross irresponsibility. It’s either the NANS factional leadership is suffering from amnesia or its President under a PDP spell.
For the information of Mr. Yinka Gbadebo and his ilk, NANS has since lost its steam and respect among the Nigerian students. The dearth of idealism and informed activism, which has become the hallmark of NANS in recent times, as against the principled struggle of the likes of Comrades Segun Okeowo, Kunle Adepeju, Akintunde Ojo, Chuma Ubani, Chris Abashi, Ben Oguntuae, Lanre Arogundade, Omoyele Sowore, Olusegun Mayeigun and a host of others who did not pander to a pot of porridge from the ruling elite, has robbed NANS of its deserved respect in the eyes of the students from whose NANS derived its authority. It beggars belief that NANS is still under the illusion that it could successfully deploy its trademark tool of blackmail and empty threat against any individual in the opposition, as it normally does for its sponsors in the PDP without consequences.
Is it the same NANS that declared Chief Olusegun Obasanjo a ‘Defender of Democracy’ and endorsed his unpopular ‘Third Term Project’ that should be respected? Is it the same NANS that actively campaigned for this inept government of the PDP at the center and turned itself to the PDP campus foot soldiers in the last general elections, without sparing a moment thought for the natural consequences of such action on the welfare of the students that want to bark and be heard?
NANS cannot eat it cake and decide to have it at the same time. It has to either genuinely side with the students or remain what it currently is and perceived by the public, the militant arm of the PDP in the country. We, the CPC Youths and campus mobilizers from across the federation will sternly resist any attempt by the PDP to use the machinery of NANS to either wreck further havoc on Nassarawa state or paint the Governor of the state in bad light. We beat our chests and state unequivocally that NANS does not have a monopoly of threat or blackmail. We warn that any further attempt by PDP, through NANS compromised leadership to misinform and incite the students against the government and people of Nassarawa state or bring the good name of its sitting governor into disrepute will be adequately counterbalanced.
We call on the Patrons and Trustees of NANS to stop the association from further mortgaging the interest of the Nigerian students for lucre. The students across the country must respond to the disgraceful outing of the Yinka Gbadebo-led NANS factional leadership in Nassarawa state, and take a stand. We therefore equally urge the students of the institution to kindly reciprocate this gesture and allow the governor to resolve the impasse between it and the Professor Shamsudeen Amali-led management of the Nassarawa state university.