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Friday, 23 October 2020


By Muhammed Issa

In practical terms, Student's unionism is about students' welfare. Sadly, however, the reverse is brewing in Kwara State. The National Association of Kwara State Students (NAKSS) under a certain AbdulAzeez Jaji and his friends are out, ready to sell honours and awards to the highest bidders. Their next ‘victim’ is Senator Gbemisola Rukkayah Saraki. 

The Association first invited her as the guest speaker in their latest online programme. Without consultation with the Senate and justifiable reasons for the decision, they announced they were going to name their secretariat after her. Why? She has a deep pocket. 

Otherwise, one should ask about the contributions of Senator Gbemisola since the inception of NAKSS that will earn her *Grand Commander of the Order of NAKSS*. The award lowers the bar of students and the Nigerian youths' struggle for a viable, radical students' unionism. They want the one to fight and demand their rights from the leaders, not those to negotiate its prestige cash and carry; to sell to the next highest bidder.

We should ask Jaji some questions especially at this time youths across the country are demanding the best from their leaders. Did he consult the students' representative across the country? Did they vote in support? How can he allow his personal love for the senator affect his sense of duty? It is unheard of that what interests Jaji-led NAKSS the most is distributing awards of recognition to enrich themselves when a lot of our students are facing one issue or the other at their various schools needing attention. 

How can power so change people! We appear to be losing Jaji in particular to the hands of lust and greed.

It is an open secret that Senator Gbemisola already promised to give them money in exchange for the honour to have the proposed secretariat named after her. This coterie of actions between NAKSS and Senator Saraki aptly reminds us of the title of a good book written about late Nigerian journalist Dele Giwa 'Honour For Sale' by Debo Bashorun. 

Jaji and his cronies have put *one million naira* price tag on the student's body for all Kwara Students, NAKSS, and the honour can now go to the highest bidder. 

As a student from Kwara state, I would advise Comrade Jaji to learn from his fellow at NANS, Comrade Wasiu Onidugbe (WIZKIU). He is all out giving a facelift to the image of the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) in Kwara. 

What legacy does he want to leave behind? 

I know that would mean that the present leadership has to be less cocky, intemperate and undemocratic, combining competence with integrity. 

It is enough evidence the award is ill-advised and undeserving with even the Senate clearly against it. The voice of the people is the voice of God. 

I will implore Jaji and his cohorts to stop playing on our intelligence and withdraw the award immediately. This is a litmus test that would make or mar his tenure. It will also cast a doubt on their ability to lead if they are opportune to rule the state or nation. It is already scary to imagine Kwara or Nigeria being sold to China for crumbs. 

Jaji should be democratic, transparent and accountable for the sake of posterity and he should know that history would never forget his time if he chooses to become chief awards- and honour- seller of NAKSS instead of acting like the president. 

Muhammed Issa is a student of Kwara State Polytechnic

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