The Kwara State students, under the aegis of the National Association of Kwara State Students (NAKSS), held their annual National inauguration ceremony at the Kwara State Polytechnic in Ilorin on Thursdays.
The association was in conglomerate of all tertiary institutions in the State.
Speaking during the inauguration, the Rector of the institution, Dr. Abdul Jimoh Mohammed advised the student to watch their step and to know that the mandate being given to them is to represent the interest of student in state.
He said, “it could be very challenging but by the virtue of being a leader, you are answerable to the students and to the school management, Kwara state government and most importantly you are answerable to God.
The new elected President, Comrade Abdulkadir Wokili in his opening speech, appreciate the Kwara State Governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq who acknowledges that every student regardless of Ethnicity, Religious and cultural divide are sons and daughters of the state and should be accorded a sense of belonging and equal opportunities as far as welfarism is concerned.
Mr Wokili said, his administration will run a government that will cater to the welfare of all students irrespective of ethnicity, religion, culture, philosophy, and gender.
“We have moved beyond bursary, Part of our agenda includes skill acquisition programs, which will provide entrepreneurship skills to the students of this association, enlightenment programs on cybercrime and substance abuse,” he said.
Kwara Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Okasanmi Ajayi, advise the student leaders to be more security conscious and report any strange or suspicious activities to the appropriate authorities.
Mr Ajayi enjoins all students within and outside the institution to remain calm and go about their lawful activities with caution, as measures have already been put in place to safeguard the lives and properties of students,” he added.
The guest speaker, Mr. Oloungbebe Fatiu Tope said unionism perfects the effort of school management and aids the effect of communication between authority and the students. And the main purpose of a union is to represent the interest of students both within the institution and externally, including on local and national issues.
He said, Your mandate is to represent the interest of the students and you are to communicate and defend the interest of the students you are representing, not your own personal interest, and remember that if the student did not vote you in, you can’t be in that position.
According to him, a lot of student leaders are ‘accidental leaders’ for a long, Nigerians have been having accidental leaders.
“People ruling us in this country, are not well prepared right from the time they were young or in the military. A leader must be able to identify challenges and solve those challenges by carrying everybody along.”
Meanwhile, Political influence and sponsorship by interest groups within and beyond institutions lead to the imposition and selection of favored candidates. Most candidates are being sponsored by government officials, some candidates are also being influenced by the management of institutions against the wish of the students they are representing.
“It is the student that supposes to determine the kind of leaders that will represent them, but we find ourselves today in a terrible situation. We find ourselves where the management of the institution is more interested in who is going to pilot the affairs of the association. Anybody that determines who is going to emerge, then you should know that, there is no how you are going to represent the student well.”
Mr Fatiu noted thatd those who sponsored the elections will always have their way to control the association and the student will continue to suffer.
However, he appeals to the Government to increase the funding of tertiary institutions to boost infrastructures on campuses. There must be a responsible society that breeds a responsible education system that gives rise to responsible leadership where people respect and tolerate one another’s ideas and opinions.
He further explained that students union leaders must know the limits of their powers and cooperate with Management towards achieving institutional goals without compromising standards and the welfare of students.