In the aftermath of the 2012 Fuel Subsidy Removal Struggle, the then NANS President, Com. Mohammed Dauda (KAPON), fully supported the removal of fuel subsidy from the onset because he was then in charge of NANS – The Youth Wing of the then Ruling Party”. He had the following to say as his reasons:
INTERVIEWER: In January, some Nigerians were on the streets protesting against the fuel subsidy hike and NANS
was not part of the protest tagged #OccupyNigeria, why were you not part of the protest?
NANS President (KAPON): I did not join the protest one basically because, before that time, we were consulted, the
organisation was consulted and we keyed into the vision like every other organisation. The Nigerian Labour
Congress were there, youth council were there and every other organisation were there at the villa to deliberate on
when the subsidy removal should take effect and everybody, nobody at that point in time kicked against it, nobody kicked against it, people were saying it was inevitable. By the time it was removed in January, one thing I want us to understand, all the stakeholders that went there believed that the subsidy based on the submission should be
removed but when people were kicking against it instead of the believe that the President did not keep to the agreement
of his promise by removing the subsidy in January, that was just their own decision. But every other person there
believed the subsidy was inevitable.
I did not join one because all the agitation (different groups) was to defend their own organisation. As the President of NANS equally, whatever palliative that is coming from the
subsidy should be channelled into the educational sector. My deal included the following – that the 36 percent
UNESCO recommendation should be obtained and they should not in any way increase tuition fees on campuses;
that was my recommendation to them.
INTERVIEWER: Were you paid money not to be part of the protest?
NANS President (KAPON):
Nobody gave me, let me make this on record, I am challenging anybody that has anything contrary, that nobody gave me any penny. I did not take any kobo from anybody. Nobody gave me any money. I am 100 percent sure that nobody gave me money.
INTERVIEWER: Nigerians are gearing up for #OccupyNigeria II, based on the fuel subsidy scam report by the Farouk
Lawan led committee. Will you be a part of the protest?
NANS President (KAPON):
Well based on what we had entrusted government to do, we have not seen anything to show for it, and things are not properly done as promised so we have to be a part of the protest.
INTERVIEWER: Will NANS be on the street to protest?
NANS President (KAPON):
Why not, we will get on the street to protest as well.
I find it insulting that KAPON denied being paid not to protest the removal of fuel subsidy in 2012!
Now, fast forward to 2016, the current NANS President, Comrade Tijani Usman Shehu, had, in less than 7-days,
threatened to stage a “mother of all protests” against the removal of fuel subsidy, to become an economic guru
analysing the Nigerian economic conundrum and advising the entire Nigerian students to swallow the bitter pills of fuel subsidy removal!
On the 12th of May, 2016, Tijani, as the President NANS – the “Pressure Group”, threatened thus:
“NANS TO OCCUPY NIGERIA AGAINST REMOVAL OF FUEL
7 days later, on the 19th of May, 2016, Tijani had metamorphosed NANS into the “Youth Wing of the ruling
APC party”, thus he posited as follows:
“NANS SUPPORTS REMOVAL OF FUEL SUBSIDY” via
In the new NANS stance, Comrade Tijani Usman Shehu, the NANS President, pushed the following palliatives and/ordemands for and on behalf of NANS, I’ll do my best to
dissect them one after the other:
1 – agreement that the government should halt any further increment in tuition fees and other auxiliary fees in all institutions of higher learning.
MY TAKE: In 2012, KAPON also reached the agreement for non increment in tuition fee. Is there a tertiary institution in this country that did not increase tuition fee since 2012 till date?
2 – provision of buses to tertiary institutions of higher learning, two per institution, to ease transportation on
MY TAKE: In 2012, KAPON also reached the agreement for buses. I’m sorry President Tijani, we are still waiting for
those 2012 buses!
3 – distribution of camp gas cylinders to all Nigerian students.
MY TAKE: Mr NANS President sir, this should arguably go down as the dumbest demand from any Pressure Group (oh sorry, I meant Youth Wing Group) in the world! Seriously? You pushed for the purchase and distribution of camp gas cylinders to all Nigerian Students? How? The lad who
thought out this particular demand is definitely not an intellectually sound entity! For you to have presented such
as part of our demand is actually an impeachable offence!
4 – engagement of students across the four zones of NANS in a town hall meeting to enlighten students on the policy.
MY TAKE: I’m sorry Mr President, I don’t see how this will benefit an average Nigerian student. I’m tempted to
conclude that it is a demand borne out of selfish interest to open up avenues for you and your ilks to continue to milk
the government to the detriment of the Nigerian Students. Lest I forgot, you were a member of the PDP Youth
Committee that embarked on “Zonal Town Hall Meetings” prior to the 2015 General Elections. We all know for every
such jamboree, there’s always a committee set up to “mobilise” and “demobilise” participants to the event. There would also be committee votes among other sundry expenses. Please, swerve Mr NANS President! This is not a palliative nor is it a worthy demand.
5 – provision of immediate employment to graduates.
MY TAKE: Thank you Comrade Tijani Usman. This is a legitimate demand only if you don’t fill these employments
slots with the names of your goons but that of millions of Nigerian graduates roaming the streets.
6 – establishment of an independent service monitoring group to monitor the current price ceiling of N145 per litre.
MY TAKE: No comment! Thank you for telling the FG that the PPPRA/DPR/NNPC have failed woefully in their
monitoring and regulatory roles.
7 – establishment of a students’ trust fund.
MY TAKE: I am lost here Mr NANS President. Students’ Trust Fund to be managed by who? What has become of the “Petroleum Trust Fund” or “Education Trust Fund” and other
trust funds in this country? Mr Tijani, abeg park well.
I will conclude by dropping these lines from an anynomous writer:
“Welcome to NANS; where for the purpose of immediate needs, youths are intellectually senile. The National
Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) is a body that has the highest
concentration of youths in Nigeria, the association should ordinarily be a womb inside which the expected leaders are housed; upon which the responsibility to form an ideal Nigeria could be saddled, surprisingly, the opposite is the case. NANS is presently the main manufacturer of leaders
with no scruples, home for rogues and a conducive hut where semi-illiterates thrives, an association where leaders
avail empty threats with a view of filling their empty pockets. Hardly could one believe, that a body that woke the consciousness of its members towards a F.G. policy on fuel price, could untimely revert their decisions when money exchanged hands. By every means imperative, it could be a safe bet, and wiser, to team-up with old ones that envisioned better tomorrow through their old ‘microscope’, than forming unholy alliance with some
youths that are mentally old and intellectually senile in their 30s and 40s!”
Dear, NANS President, Comrade Tijani Usman Shehu, how did I forget to mention the open secret of the alleged N15M that exchanged hands at the NNPC Towers, Abuja, after the NNPC/DSS/NANS agitation (negotiation) parley?
If NANS has a purported membership of 40.1million Nigerian students (as you are always fond of claiming), how can you sell us all for a paltry N15M? That’s about N2.67 per student! Damn! Tijani values my worth as only N2.67! I’m sad!
ADDENDUM: A renowned mathematical guru, having gone through this piece (first published on my Facebook wall), corrected me thus:
“I read your piece on NANS, at the tail of the piece, I guess the value should be inverse of the indicated. 37kobo/Nigerian student and not N2.67/Nigerian student. It’s N15M/40.1M students and not the opposite. I guess it was an oversight from a guru-genius like Sama. Someone recently made a mistake when the naira-yuan deal was struck too. Our minds usually tend to tilt towards the better of two, particularly when the second sounds grossly ridiculous!
You may wish to effect the change.
So, dear Nigerian Students, our NANS President, Comrade Tijani Usman Shehu, actually values us at 37kobo each!!!