Students in Nigerian tertiary institutions have called for the resignation of the executives of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS.
This came in the wake of an award of “golden man of the year” conferred on Buruji Kashamu last week by the apex students’ body.
Mr. Kashamu is the senator representing Ogun East, whose election was quashed on Friday by the National Assembly election tribunal.
In separate interviews with students, they described the award investiture as “a complete show of shame”.
The Public Relations Officer of Obafemi Awolowo Students’ Union, Emmanuel Ojedokun, described the award as a completely unnecessary move.
He said that, “the current set of NANS Leaders are political jobbers who need to be shown the way out if they fail to leave honourably.”
“Obafemi Awolowo University Students’ Union is not part of the latest move by NANS,” Mr. Ojedokun said.
Also speaking, a students’ representative from University of Lagos, Tope Ojedele, who is the president of the school’s press team expressed disappointment at the action of NANS.
She said “The action of NANS is very questionable especially looking at the integrity of Mr Kashamu. The award is more like ‘cash and carry’”.
“We want the NANS leaders to resign, if they cannot explain the reasons for the award since they may have their own reasons.”
She expressed fear that the next set of NANS could be worse.
Samuel Opeyemi, another student of Obafemi Awolowo University, also condemned the award by NANS.
“It is pitiable and laughable that national Association of. Nigerian Students leaders have decided to drag the name of the association into mud,” he said.
“If we as students have no integrity, I wonder what the hope of Nigeria is. It is high time we had new sets of leaders in the students’ body.”
However, a student leader of the University of Ibadan and president of union of Campus Journalists called for caution in condemning NANS leadership.
“Even though the action of NANS is condemnable, taking hasty steps in dealing with NANS leaders may spell doom,” he said.
“The only thing we may want to do is to go back to the drawing table so we can restructure NANS. Moreover they may have their reasons for giving the award to Kashamu. We need to listen their reasons,” he said.
Reacting to the condemnation of the award, NANS, through its South West General Secretary, Oloja Olanrewaju, said the award was given to Mr. Kashamu for his philanthropy.
“Buruji Kashamu is an untiring hardworking man who has an exemplary and leadership style. During the eight months unpaid salary saga in Osun state, he supplied 5000 bags of rice and 1000 gallons of kerosene, he has also supported democracy and education that is more of why he emerged as a senator in Nigeria that is why we think he deserves the award,” he said.