A Government is believed to be a body with the power to make and/or enforce laws to control a country, land area, people or organization and as well advance all necessary social amenities for the betterment of the people. The Students Union Government (SUG) was established in several tertiary institutions to see the welfare of Students, ensuring unity, orderliness and promote a cordial relationship between students, School Authorities, Local, State and Federal Government, thereby bringing about effective representation, especially in developing countries like Nigeria.
In a democratic state like Nigeria, it has been a heavy load on the Student Union Leaders to be at the forefront of promoting and protecting the interest of its members (Students). Most SUG has lost the essence and objectives of it’s establishment as “MANY” have been hijacked by the University Management, State or Federal Government. Students Union which was more or less a Pressure group was geared at Promoting good Governance in all levels of Government, defending and agitating for Justice thereby bringing about a positive Transformation in the society.
The Responsibilities of Students Union Leaders goes beyond the title (Hon. Comr. and Barr/Justice) attached to their names and goes beyond the fame and benefits they get. It is a call to Service which every level of Dedication, Accountability and Transparency is required and must be pursued with every form of integrity and honesty for effective representation.
Today, Students Unionism in most institution have been laid to rest. Fear, Greed and act of embezzlement has become a character trait most Students Leaders posse and this does not just affect the institution but the nation at large. Students Leaders now go after Politicians seeking for Favour as well as material resources even when such Politician isn’t fit to lead. They wear clothings made with sentiment and wash away Truth. Inviting Politicians to your school for Campaign purposes geared towards enriching your pockets and to the detriment of the masses isn’t the True Spirit of Leadership.
Most Politicians today haven understood that Students Leaders as well as Students can easily be bought over, have casted their nets of deceit on several institutions thereby lobbying them inform of presents just to secure support from them.
Most Students as well as Students Leaders have chosen to accept the glorified offer of today and mortgage the next 4 years.
Nigeria has 162 Universities of which 44 are Federal, 47 State and 75 Private Universities (NUC, 2017). According to National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Nigeria has 50 Federal, 43 State and 46 Private Polytechnics and Monotechnics. Also, 35 Federal, 30 State and 6 College of Agriculture and Health and other Technical Colleges, Vocational Enterprise Institutions and Innovative Enterprise Institution situated all over the country.
All these Institutions have Youths majorly as her students in which majority of the students also are above 18 years thereby making them eligible to vote.
According to UNESCO Institute of Statistics (2018), about 15,875,252 Students within age 18 and 22 are currently studying in Nigeria Tertiary Institutions. This constitute over 35% of the total number of Youths in Nigeria.
Analyzing 2015 Presidential Election Results as was announced by Professor Attahiru Jega, the Chairman Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which goes thus:
AA: 22,125, ACPN: 40,311 AD: 30,673 ADC: 29,666 APA: 53,537APC: 15,424,921 CPP: 36,300HOPE: 7,435 KOWA: 13,076 NCP: 24,455 PDP: 12,853,162 PPM:24,475 UDP: 9,208 UPP:18,220
Accredited Voters: 31,756,490
Total Valid Votes: 28,587,564
Rejected Votes: 844, 519
Total Number of Votes: 28,280,083
Goodluck Jonathan: 12,853,162 votes
Muhammadu Buhari: 15,426,921votes
(Source: Pulse .ng)
We discovered that PMB won with 15,426,921 votes which is less than the total number of students studying in tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
If Students Union Leaders could organise their fellow students in their respective institutions and sensitive them on the need to get their voters card as well as voting rightly without any form of sentiment and biasnes, Nigeria 2019 will be a better one.
– Restoration of True Students Unionism in Nigeria Tertiary Institutions.
– INEC Voters Card Registration Center should be situated in Every tertiary institution.
– Every Tertiary Institution should have a polling unit(s).
– Every Student in tertiary institution should have a Voters Card.
– INEC should organize purposeful and none political seminars and symposiums in all tertiary institution to educate students on the need to Participate actively in Electoral Processes.
– Students Leaders should always stand firm for truth and Justice. Say YES to Good Governance and reject every form of lobby to entice and attract political favour.
– Students should actively participate in Electoral Processes.
If all these is done and duly followed, then Nigerians will owe Students appreciation for Redeeming our Country come 2019.