Education

‘We’ve commenced campaign against rape, sexual abuse’

Famuyibo Oluwasegun, a sophomore of the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Science, University of Ibadan (UI) and one of the 10 candidates vying for the president of NANS speaks with ADEWUMI ADEMIJU about his plans to lift up students’ unionism, wave of rape and sexual abuse, strategies to tackle the challenges facing Nigerian students

 

There is this nagging issue of factions in the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS), how is this going to be addressed to curb divisiveness and ensure unity in the union?

 

 

Well, the major reason for factions in the association is not far-fetched from the influence of politicians and some key government functionaries.

 

In fact, the current leadership of the students’ body does not encourage factions, and to that extent, the executive council has strived to ensure one leadership and that is why I have started my campaign on the spirit of oneness for unity and comradeship to be sustained.

 

 

 

And, I can assure you that we would try as much as possible to maintain and sustain this.

 

The interest of NANS supersedes all other interests and we shall also ensure that no politician or government functionaries interfere in the association through undue influence.

 

The students’ union needed to foster cordial relationships with the government in order to acquaint the government with students’ demands and challenges for appropriate solutions.

 

Opinion from all quarters is that the leadership of NANS is collecting money from politicians who used them to achieve their selfish desire, while the students’ leaders are living ostentatious lives at the expense of the interest of the students.

 

Well, NANS in the last few years has been working as much as possible to be at the forefront of the struggle for emancipation of students and the entire education sector.

 

For instance, just few weeks ago, NANS was in Ibadan, Edo and Akwa Ibom States, and some other states to p r o – test against the issues of incessant rape and sexual abuse of female students.

 

Also, during this coronavirus pandemic, the student body gave palliatives to students across board because we have students that are on campuses and they have to be catered for.

 

It is not possible for NANS not to romance the government at all levels, since it is not only to profit the association, but to also ensure that suitable policies that will benefit Nigerian students generally and the education sector are put in place.

 

This is one of the major reasons we need to partner the government in the interest of the entire students and to also ensure that their plight is presented to the authorities for proper consideration.

 

The Constitution of NANS allows consultation with government at all levels, and there are stages at which the association has to romance government. We consult, consolidate on our consultation and if that does not work we confront the government.

 

That is when Nigerian students troop to the streets to protest unfavourable policies and programmes of government against us. It is, therefore, constitutional for NANS to consult, consolidate and confront the government.

 

There are many brilliant students from poor homes, who have problems in funding their education, do you have plans to support this set of students?

 

Of course, the leadership of NANS is going to enlarge its welfare scheme plans to ensure that students in this category are adequately well catered for.

 

NANS under my leadership will meet and discuss with well-meaningful stakeholders in the private sector, blue chip companies and corporate organisations in the country on how we can get all these things done.

 

We planned to appeal to philanthropists in this regard through their social welfare security and corporate social responsibility and community relations scheme to give back to the society. We will spread our tentacles towards achieving this stated objective.

 

There are going to be regular open fora for such students to come out to speak out on their plight so that we, at our level we can enlist them into such an opportunity.

 

It might not even be in the area of scholarship awards since some Nigerians may want to assist such students privately.

 

When will the NANS’ election be conducted?

 

The coronavirus pandemic outbreak caused some delay in the conduct of the election.

 

But for the outbreak of the pandemic, the date of the election which was earlier fixed between June 19 and 21 had to be shifted.

 

Key stakeholders in NANS are planning to meet in order to decide on new arrangements in line with the precautionary measures on COVID-19 by looking into the number of students’ electorate to vote during the election.

 

Already, four out of the six executive positions, which are President, Secretary General, Treasurer and Financial Secretary, had been zoned to the South-West in the election.

 

What is your agenda for the student bodies, if elected?

 

The NANS Charter of Demand stipulates welfarism of students, agitation for a better educational system and a conducive learning environment for students across all campuses in Nigeria.

 

These are not easy tasks to accomplish given the numerous campuses. But, when we eventually come on board, we are going to focus on those areas, especially the welfare of Nigerian students, upon which the strength of NANS lies.

 

Cases of rape are currently alarming with many female undergraduates falling victims. How do you plan to tackle the menace?

 

Without being immodest, we have already started that move in my campaign.

 

Like I said earlier, few weeks ago, we staged protests against rape in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital; Edo, Akwa Ibom and some other states. We are also on social media with our campaign slogan: “Say No to Rape.” and particular this is to sensitise our male folks to shun all vices. It is unfortunate that rape is now on increase, and we are out to curb it.

 

We also gathered that some herbalists are engaging youths to do that for ritual purposes. We have messages for male students who engage in such acts under the guise of making wealth or sexual pleasure to desist. In my campaign, I have started to educate and sensitise them to engage in meaningful ventures.

 

Even if it is to earn a living, they should take up menial jobs, which is more advisable rather than engaging in evil acts. I also advised them to realize that those who engage in rape, sexual abuse, killing and any other forms of anti-social activities either for ritual purpose or whatever reason that posterity will judge them. They should live with fear of God in order to make success in their lives.

 

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