Speaking the Nations Mind




By: Benedict Aguele

Our attention has been drawn to an event purportedly organized by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), led by a man who in character and orientation is a parody of all the once great associations represented in our body polity.

The supposed claim by one Mr. Sunday Dare Asefon, who claims to represent the interest of Nigerian students, to the effect that NANS is not part of the genuine demand of citizens for government to reform the police and bring it in line with the mandate to serve Nigerians clearly shows the interests he represents.

While the position he took is not surprising, coming from a middle-aged man who ought to be at an advanced stage of proper career but chose to be a hireling of those who have held our dear country by the jugular and strangled her progress over the years. How NANS has fallen from the lofty heights of years past when it was led by genuine students of youthful age, who understood the genuine needs of students, is a metaphor for how Nigeria has deteriorated in the hands of the ruling class.

Rather than side with the people, a certain clique of mercenaries has chosen to side with the oppressors of the Nigerian people.

That the representative body of Nigerian students couldn’t come up with clear demands for the reopening of Nigerian Universities but chose to parrot the position of a body that has extended its brutality to countless Nigerian students.

While we recognize the fact that the said Mr. Asefon wasn’t speaking his mind but doing the bidding of his paymasters who funded the spending orgy of an election that brought him to office, it is pertinent to address those he represents.

The government must understand that police brutality is a decades-old problem requiring unwavering commitment and investment over a long period to change the fundamental orientation of the Nigeria Police Force from its colonial state of being a tool for oppressing the masses of our country.

The government must show good faith in reforming the basic tenet of policing in Nigeria to prioritize the security of the people, being the fundamental building block of the state, not a tool in the hand of the high and mighty.

The demands made, as acknowledged by the government itself, were genuine and worthy of attention and the position of all well-meaning Nigerians should be in holding the government to a higher standard of service delivery to the citizenry, beginning with policing for security and development.

NANS must engage in a soul searching process to purge itself of the now established tendency of being available for hire by the highest bidder while a lot of the average Nigerian continues to deteriorate in the face of the rising cost of living and institutions of state that fail in their mandate to the people.