As University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) students observe the ongoing Students Union Government (SUG) week, Hon. Vita Abba, former chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu State has challenged the union to protect themselves and stand their grounds against all odds faced by university’s administration.
He said this while delivering a speech at a student mentorship program organised by the office of the SUG Vice-president, Comr. Victory Kenneth tagged, “Student Union Govt In 21st. Century.”
During the symposium, the Union was awakened to the tasks that come with students unionism and skills highly needed in the 21st century.
He gave the history of how students unionism started with Nationalists like Ladipo Solanke, Nnamdi Azikiwe and others, who spearheaded West African Students Union (WASU)
He stated that they were at forefront demanding for quality education, quality leadership, and liberation.
“If as at colonial era, we have many who stood up for justice and fairness and things inimical to their interests and future, what more of students of 21st century.
“Now because we are no longer courageous and strong or prepared to face the consequences, we are always dancing to the tune of those policies that are quite unfair to us,” he said.
Represented by Barr. Frank Agbowo, a Special Assistant to the Governor of Enugu state, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, he cited how it was just once SUG UNN protested during the 8months protracted strike which he described as unhealthy.
Consequently, he admonished the students to always stand their grounds and fight for students rights.
He said that Nigeria has not been able to interface the role of students unionism in its various universities appropriately, adding that many universities are proscribing students unionism on campus. Moreover, he said that many universities are avoiding creating it entirely.
Barr. Agbowo said this is because some institutions find the union as an impediment to some of their policies that are not quite in favor of the students.
He explained that Students Union Government is an institution or organization of students in a synergized form, seeking to having relationships among themselves and also protect themselves and such groups are highly needed in the 21st century.