Falana Seeks Revitalisation of Students’ Unionism

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Femi Falana

Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, has stressed the need for the revitalisation of students’ unionism in Nigeria.

To this end, the senior lawyer has called on students to adopt various methods of revitalising the students’ union movement.

Falana argued that the youths have a role to play in moulding the future.

Falana stated these in his capacity as the chairman of the 20th Anti-Corruption Situation Room (ACSR) with the theme: “Harnessing the potentials of student’ Unionism and activists towards the promotion of good governance, transparency and accountability in Nigeria.”

“The National Assembly is perennially engaged in violence and of course student leaders today are either agents of their vice chancellors, the government of the day or other negative forces while student unions are banned or proscribed whenever students ask any question that are critical, therefore, this meeting is of fundamental importance,” Falana explained.

In his speech, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing/ Director of Ford Foundation, Mr. Innocent Chukwuma, who was a panelist at the teleconference, said during his time as a student, unionism was an ideological struggle.

“The east and the west, you either align with the east or the west. if you align with the east you will be grounded in socialism and communist ideologies, and we had literature all over campuses that enabled us to get up to speed with the happenings, soon, the movement began to be divided and the triumph of capitalism over socialism, though temporary at that time, eroded the ideological base of the struggle and what came in its place is what we might call identity politics,” he recalled.

Innoson, who spoke on: “Setting agenda for a broad-based social engagement of ex-student leaders in the current governance milieu”, at the conference organised by HEDA Resource Centre, emphasised the needs for political education among current students’ union leaders.

Former presidential aspirant and activist Omoyele Sowore said comrades who have been involved in the struggle for good governance, transparency and accountability should begin to document their struggles in the form of detention diaries, books and even documentaries.