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Compromised  NANS And Jonathan’s Endorsement 

Saturday Xtra: By Oyewale Oyelola

In less than six months to 2015 general elections, reports have been made of the various groups endorsing President Goodluck Jonathan second tenure ambition. One of the latest is the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) led by its National President,  Comrade Yinka Gbadebo. NANS endorsement was made this week inside the Presidential villa, Abuja.

The NANS delegation met with the First lady, Dame Patience Jonathan on Thursday to persuade the President to contest in 2015 Presidential election. Just like others have said, Gbadebo in his speech linked NANS support to President Jonathan’s on its administration efforts to transform the Nigeria economy, especially to become the number one in Africa.

“As pragmatic and visionary Nigerians,  we can see through the veil of distraction and boldly applaud the Goodluck administration for infrastructural and social transformation.  we have…determined to put all political detractors and evil geniuses to shame in 2015 by giving Mr. President the singular and total support of all Nigerian students.

“As a united association,  all students have been mandated to cast their votes for President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to emerge victorious and continue the good works of transformation”, Gbadebo submitted in his remarks to the First Lady.

The NANS support to Jonathan’s ambition is a clear indication that Gbadebo and his cabinet members were all out  to serve their interest, specifically for political patronage.

What is the link in their approval of Jonathan’s continuation in power given the recent unpleasant development in the country’s tertiary institutions? For instance, the  Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) few weeks ago suspended its 10 months nationwide strike while its Universities counterpart – Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) also down tools for not less than five months to demand for adequate funding of the University system. It took the new Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, pleading ASUP leaders to suspend the long strike.

Gbadebo who have been actively involved in NANS activities since 2003 was rusticated from the University of Ado-Ekiti (Now Ekiti State University) for insulting the Vice Chancellor.

It is therefore not surprising that he has mischievously turned the students’ body as channel to achieve personal goal. Since his inauguration as the National leader of NANS, he has left no one in doubt that the body under him is government’s megaphone and he, Jonathan’s stooge.

Gbadebo who is presently  a diploma student in the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), during last year ASUU strike was pre – occupied, castigating the striking lecturers on their demands.

He was almost impeached by the NANS legislative arm in September 2013 for working against the interest of Nigerian students,  but the Presidency and other powerful forces frustrated the move, hence, his presence in the office till date.

Over the years, many Students Union leaders on account of their radical activism and critical views on the national issues, have unavoidably cut the attention of the power that be, thereby forcing them to listen and heed their demands. The recognition in some cases have earned good career and political appointments.

Past NANS leaders serving in  Jonathan’s cabinet include: Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau,  Senior Special Adviser (SSA) to President Jonathan on Niger Delta Affairs,  Mr Kingsley Kuku, SSA on Students and Youth Affairs,  Mr Jude Imagwe among others.

Some of them did creditably well during their tenure for always being on the side of the students as well as common Nigerians, far from the docile and apologetic Gbadebo’s leadership style.

Shockingly, he and his spent cohorts are presently scheming and aspiring for various political elective positions in their home states after leaving office. Except with the tacit support of their political godfathers, this young misled individuals lack the clout and good aura to command people’s respect, let alone getting their support to be voted for.


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