All protocols are duly respected. Good evening my fellow comrades. I thank my friend, Comrade Babsalam of Ahmadu Bello University, for the invite. And I greet responsible and resourceful members of ABU Comrades Platform.
Dear Students’ Leaders!
Aluta is a symbol. It’s a symbol of struggle – struggle for the emancipation of the oppressed. Aluta is not just an ordinary call. It’s a call of wisdom, intellectualism and vibrancy.
Many have lost their lives, whilst trying to make life livable for us. Many destinies have been shattered and many have become prisoners of conscience.
Our rights would not be given to us, voluntarily. We are to demand for our rights. Freedom will come only by struggle.
It is the orientation of the ruling class that the common people deserve no better rights. It is the agreement of the oppressors that the oppressed should know no freedom and liberty.
It’s the pleasure of the bourgeoisie that the peasants should reap not from the sweats of their labors.
Education is not our privilege. Education’ is not our opportunity, as well. But our foundational right. The best gift we can give Nigeria today is good education. Then, we can have a better people, a better society and a better life.
Our elites once enjoyed free and quality education. As students, they were housed, fed and sponsored by the state. They enjoyed dividends of democracy, from our founding fathers. And they studied in comfort zones.
Today they cannot make available, for us, quality education they once enjoyed, even at skyrocketed fees. They jeopardize benefits they enjoyed and left the common people in darkness.
They bastardise our education. Their children can’t patronize Nigerian education – hence they go overseas. They say nothing is free, even in Freetown. Tuitions across the federation are skyrocketed and many students drop out.
How educated we are would determine how industrious and prosperous our country would be.
Many graduates are not gainfully employed. They become more of liabilities than assets to the country.
Our elites want them to be self employed. They want them to struggle and make ends meet, on their own. Meanwhile many of these elites’ children are not self employed. They are offered jobs in the ministries – reputable and multinational companies.
We don’t have access to free books in many Nigerian schools. Lecturers would mandate students to buy books. They would threaten to fail whoever refuses to buy such books.
And above all, many of these lecturers would harass our female students, at every available opportunity. As students leaders, we must extend zero tolerance for sexual harassment and molestation.
We must hold our ruling class accountable for refusing to create multiple job opportunities for our mass of unemployed graduates. Or else, social crimes would increase. And none of us including the ruling class would be safe.
If Nigeria would be better, education must be affordable – students’ rights must be respected by the government and heads of institutions. The students are the leaders of today, of tomorrow – and of everyday. So, adequate attention should be given to their cause.
On no account should they be intimidated. And on no account should their rights be violated. It’s the orientation of the ruling class that vibrant students leaders should be silenced, oppressed and punished.
It’s their orientation as well to silent their potentials and potentialities.
Elites don’t want to hear the word “Aluta” from us again. Meanwhile the voice of the masses can neither be silenced nor overpowered.
Scientific Aluta is Aluta of Sense – Aluta of Wisdom and Aluta of Strategy.
To be a popular, respected and highly valued students’ leader, please take cognisance of the following:
“`√ You must be a good listener. Listen more and talk less.“`
“`√ Hear the other side of every story before you act.“`
“`√ Do not act before you think. Think twice before you act.“`
“`√ Nobody is a monopoly of intelligence. Learn from other people’s perspectives.“`
“`√ Consult people of sound thoughts and ideas.“`
“`√ You will be responsible for your actions, not your advisers.“`
“`√ Learn to gather facts and figures.“`
“`√ Learn to establish a united front to agitate for a common right.“`
“`√ Learn to motivate your members ahead of popular struggle.“`
“`√ Learn to be loyal to your loyalists. But, do not annihilate your conspirators.“`
“`√ Better academic performance of students is key. No mass failure should be allowed by students’ leaders.“`
“`√ Organize tutorials for students. Encourage lecturers to put in their best.“`
“`√ Guide and counsel students towards academic success. Motivate them to strive for academic breakthrough.“`
“`√ Do not give your students appointment. Let your door be open.“`
“`√ Dear students’ leaders! Keep your campus clean. Maintain a hygienic environment. Approachable restrooms. And encourage your medical officers to be more vigilant and diligent at work.“`
“`√ The security and safety of your students are very paramount.“`
“`√ Transportation and accommodation of students should be eased.“`
“`√ Always stand against victimization of your students. Always wage war against sexual harassment.“`
“`√ Be ready to negotiate and renegotiate by welcoming dialogue. But, do not trade the interests of your members.“`
“`√ Learn to shift ground (when and where necessary). It is not a must to shut down schools and streets.“`
“`√ Learn to display the ethos of sound character and humility to your members and everyone.“`
“`√ Be humble in your appeals and requests to those at the top.“`
“`√ If your humility, sense of dialogue and respect are taken for granted, please demonstrate. Demonstrate, quite peacefully. Peaceful demonstration is allowed.“`
It is not in the agenda of the oppressors to giveth the oppressed any liberty and freedom. It is our responsibilities to hold the government and heads of institutions accountable to us and dance to our tune.
As students’ leaders, many a time, we are the last hope of our students. Just as the judiciary is the last hope of all common men.
We must not fail them. We must not betray the struggle for the emancipation of the students. And we must protect the mandates given to us, at all time”.
Thanks for listening to me.