Campus Politics and Leadership Matter

A senior colleague of mine would always assert the fact that if there’s any need for change in our society then it must start with the youths. I quite agree. to say that the youths of today are prepared for futuristic leadership opportunities, today, is a fallacy. In side the bus, in lecture rooms, along the street, public discourse, especially that which borders on leadership matter, is an irony. Or better put, if I expect my leaders to be responsible in their capacities as so-and-so, then my own side must not be found wanton.

For the short period of heading UNAD NASELS, my eyes were opened to yearnings which could have sent me off the limit. What students perceive of leadership is indeed wrong. Leadership to them is an opportunity to siphon money from union account for personal aggrandizement, a means of enriching oneself to the detriment of others.

Inside my office came in one old friend that sunny afternoon when I was actually meditating on something. The friend who congratulated me on my appointment began doling out advice which took me aback “my friend, this is the time to make your money, he had said. His advice, the sample of students perception of leadership, came in deluge thereafter. And I was sad.

This set me on to reflect on campus politics which I term the microcosm of Nigeria politics. A close observer of Nigeria ’s political culture is aware of the unbridled love for power, achieved through violence, mudslinging and the do-or-die conundrum. These ubiquitous maladies stare out daily, established, as if there’s a tacit agreement; the clamour for change panting under their suffocating effects.

Take for instance the NANS convention, recently held. A source was telling me how rowdy and violent the atmosphere was. He said he detected lately that only him had no charm or ammunition for protection and so he had to scurry off for fear of being victimized.

Much as I support agitation for students right and unionism,, I do not subscribe to the wisdom of violence which our students have been weaned into. This aluta anthem and union choruses being issued out by our student leaders today underscores the extent to which they could go in their quest for power. If we hold on to the excuse that mudslinging, violence and corruption are the order r of Nigerian politics, must we as students thread the wrong lane even when it is crystal-clear that it is wrong? Do we not need to question our imitation through the common sense?

To unravel this mystery of our political culture, I was asking the NANs Senate President recently what measure are in place to stem the tide of violence for which NANS conventions are known. My concern, put to him, was how a gentle press man like me would survive coming to witness NANS CONVENTION. His reply did little to assuage my hope. He said violence is the order of Nigeria politics but added that during his tenure NANS CONVENTION would witness peace. I nodded my head in contempt.

Student union leaders use defiant tones during protests against school managements or government. They accuse these s higher authorities of corruption, insensitivity to students plight and violence, defined in their own sense as bad administration. But to what extent are they justified when they indulge in vices to get power? Or what justification do I have to question our national leaders of corruption or mismanagement when corruption is the advice I would give to my colleague in his little leadership capacities?

To begin an overhaul on our political culture to pave way for good leadership, we need to remove the specs in our eyes to be able to see that in others. We must not be the stooge to a horrible political culture, we must be watchful, realistic, genuine and intellectually militant . The future awaits us.

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