THE NEED FOR NANS TO TAKE ON CULTISM – BY Salami Ismail Oyewale
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) – the apex student body responsible for the welfare of over 30.1 million Nigerian Students both at home and in diaspora – is in a quagmire. Our association is torn between loyalty to cultism and loyalty to the welfare of Nigerian Students.
There is an urgent need for NANS to take the bull by the horn and confront the menace of cultism in various campuses across the length and breadth of Nigeria head on. NANS has the deeply entrenched structure to mobilise nationally to stampede cultism to a standstill. But our association is being docile on this cogent issue tarnishing the image of Nigerian Students.
This association must stand and defend – as a matter of topmost priority – the interest of wellmeaning Nigerian Students caught in the firing line by rival cult groups.
This silence from NANS on cultism in Nigeria is deafening. The recent gruesome murder(s) by rival cult groups domiciled in the Ekiti State University (EKSU) is worrisome and troubling. As it has happened in Ekiti, it will happen elsewhere.
Genuine comrades, cadres and student leaders from the lowlands in the South through the hills and plateaus in the Central to the plains in the North must take a stand. It is our battle. It cannot be fought on our behalf. We must not abscond in our duty to preserve the little integrity left of the Nigerian Students Movement.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) is yet to release a statement on the recent killings in EKSU. NANS must borrow a leaf from the once vibrant OAU Student’s Union Government whose standout performance during her glorious years has always been the total war waged on, any and every form of, cultism on the OAU campus. Examples abound of other ideologically driven SUGs in the country who took such stance.
The leadership of NANS across all levels – state, zonal and national – must desist from patronising cult members before, during and after every of its conventions and programmes. I make bold to state categorically without fear or favour that the NANS is one of the greatest patronisers of cult members in this country!
Students and cultists are light and darkness. We should never meet. We are two parallels that will and must never converge. Students are ideologues. Cultists are rogues. Students are pro-intellectuallism. Cultists are pro-violence. Students use pen. Cultists use weapons. Students are the hope for a rosy future. Cultists are the remembrance of our brutal past. Students are progressives. Cultists are reactionaries.
The campaign season is already taking shape in the rank and file of NANS comrades. From the equatorial in the South to the semi-arid in the North, the battle for the NANS top seat is shaping up to be delivered to the tropicals in the Central. Let any aspirant present a blueprint to stamp out cultism from our campuses and we shall devote resources and mobilise same for such aspiration.
Kindly join the Anti-Cultism social media campaign to lend your voice to this menace which has eaten deep into the fabric of Nigerian education system by posting thus on your various social media accounts:
I AM NOT A CULTIST. WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Salami Ismail Oyewale is my name … I am a prominent youth and former students leader in Nigeria. I am not a CULTIST …. I have never been a part of any of their clandestine activities.