The dying of comradeship in student unionism and the implications


Mumin Ameed/ U12mm1015

I believe you can reason along with me if I posit that, there is no more element and spirit of comradeship amongst our contemporary leaders in the student unionism palace, rather what is obvious on a daily basis is conflicting with one and other on how to steal and divert little resources they are able to generate and accumulate in the name of association into their personal pockets. This is because, most of the young students that are entering into student union politics and qualify their selves as comrades, lack proper understanding of what comradeship implies and encompass.

Therefore, with my little experience and close observation on how past comrades conducted and led the activities of their various student unions positively and successfully without messing up the association for the incoming generations, I come up with holistic definition of comrade. Comrade is an active one who considers the interest and welfare of its members as number one priority rather than its own personal interest, make its members equally comfortable at all time and fighting for the right and freedom of its member in legal and moral way. But this is no more manifest and observable in the way and manner in which most of our comrades conduct their active in the Nigerian universities as observed.

However, in the past we experienced on how comrades in the universit delivered their various associations to expectation of their member without any problem left over for the incoming administration. They fought for the interest of their members and progress of their associations with little or zero attention to their personal interest during their era. Some of these comrades in the spirit of comradeship were withdrawn from their various schools and some died in course of struggle with main aim of representing the interest of their members and the associations at large.

But today looking at how students in the different higher institutions of learning conduct their selves with regard to school politics and comradeship compare to what we knew in the past about student unionism the reverse is the case. Where we always feature out young students who are amateur and novice of student politics and what comradeship entails busy on a daily basis especially during politicking time on campuses calling and qualifying their selves as comrades who otherwise possess zero quality of such. Most of them contest for particular positions for their own personal benefits not for members and promotion of the association. Some of them contest for positions not because he/she can performs well in the office rather, to partake in the sharing of association resource such as dues collection from members and some money they usually generate via solicitations.

These are manifest in many Nigerian varsities today where students aspiring or contesting for positions become prodigal on campuses before the conduct of the elections with corrupt aim of winning the election with all what it takes couple with hidden aim of getting their finance back as soon as he/she win the election and assume offices. Believe me this is not what comradeship is rather than an act of corruption and betrayer of trust which currently Nigeria government is fighting with at higher level.

Moreover, this act of looting association’s money is in contrary with concept of comradeship in student unionism palace. Which has led many associations to remain undeveloped and passive because of the extent to which their so call Excos have polluted the unions in the process of satisfying their personal interests as opposed to comradeship. In view of this, many stakeholders and donors that are usually assist the student associations are now being skeptical about giving assistants to student associations because of dubious and bad intentions of the lenders of such associations before they became executives.

However, many students unions now are no longer receiving assistant from sources unlike before to carry out the activities of the unions. The major source of income they rely on now is dues generated from the members which they are still busy fighting on them for sharing.

At this point, the only way out to revive or wake back the comradeship in the students unionism is that, Excos should always think about life after leaving the offices and Nigerian university authorities should give close and active monitoring to the various registered student associations with special attention to financial reports of the associations and progress of the associations ensure that Excos do not divert association finance into their private pockets as they desired before they come on board.


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