elected President of the National Association of Nigerian Students
(NANS), Comrade Sunday Asefon and the new executives to focus more on
championing causes that will improve the standard of education and
welfare of students in tertiary institutions and not be distracted by
other sundry interests.
The Governor gave the charge when he received the newly elected
President, members of executive Council and other stakeholders of NANS
across the country at the Governor’s Office, Ado Ekiti.
Dr Fayemi asked Asefon to consider his responsibility to the students
as a priority and strife hard to make a significant difference in the
lives of young people in the country by fulfilling the mission and
serving the interest of Nigerian Students.
The Governor, who also pointed out the need to rebrand the image of
NANS from being perceived as an avenue to achieve selfish
aggrandizement, said he was optimistic that the new President would
conduct himself properly in such a way that posterity would be kind to
He said: “NANS’ image needs to be rebranded, so that NANS is not seen
as that opportunistic vehicle for other agenda rather than the
Students agenda and that is why I am glad that the President
highlighted things that are specific about students.
“That should be the number one priority. Of course there will always
be collateral issues that would come about deepening our democracy,
about strengthening the nationhood but number one issue is improving
the quality and standard of our students in tertiary institutions.
“It is your generation, I believe you will fulfil the mission that has
been put in your hands, you will not betray it, you will serve the
interest of Students and will challenge and speak truth to power where
Responding to the request made by the NANS leadership to NGF to
intervene in the nine months strike embarked upon by the Academic
Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr. Fayemi disclosed that the
Governors in the country are committed to ensuring that ASUU and the
Federal Government meet the deadline of returning students to school
before the end of the year.
The NGF Chairman said the governors were passionate about the need to
re-open the universities, adding that the governors have been
intervening in bringing the lecturers and the Federal Government
together even after they had gone apart in their negotiation.
“We will still get them to meet the deadline of returning students to
school before the end of the year because it is our collective
interest not in your interest as Students but our interest as
governors and leaders of our people because there is a direct
correlation between idleness on one hand and nefarious activities on
the other hand.”
Dr Fayemi also stressed the need for NANS to prioritize and strengthen
its Secretariat by setting up a policy and advocacy research centre
that would enable it to independently gather data and verify
information on issues of concern to the body in order to drive it’s
negotiation ability with people in power.
The Ekiti State Governor advised that the NANS secretariat should have
a directorate for research and policy that would serve as an
empowered, informed and strong back up for the students’ body.
The Governor who said he was impressed by the way other contestants
accompanied Asefon to Ekiti in presenting his letter of appreciation,
implored the Stakeholders at the meeting to continue to stay together
and demonstrate that a new and better Nigeria that brings every tribe,
religion and ethnic together is possible.
He further charged the NANS’ President to be sure of reflecting the
national character of the students’ body to avoid losing all the
supports he garnered from different parts of the country.
On the need to secure campuses across the country, Dr Fayemi urged
young people, whom he described as source of intelligence, to be
willing to join the move to collectively tackle the menace of
insecurity ravaging the country.
Earlier, Comrade Asefon had complained about the annual reduction in
the national budget for education and urged Governor Fayemi to use the
platform of the NGF to appeal to the Minister of Education, Minister
of Labour and ASUU to conclude negotiation so that students would
resume school before the end of the year.
The NANS President while disclosing plan of his Association to visit
Katsina on the recent adoption of Secondary School Students from
Kankara, raised the need to ensure maximum security within and around
campuses in the Country.
The event was attended by the Secretary to the State Government, Hon
Biodun Oyebanji; Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Mr
Michael Awopetu; Special Adviser on Federal Matters, Mr Makinde
Araoye; Special Adviser on Public Procurement , Mr O’seun Odewale and
other government officials.
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