WEAKENING OF NUGS: THE ROLE OF SOURCES FOR FINANCING STUDENTS POLITICS

By Kweku Antwi Jnr

Great men and women in the struggle for God and country, I greet you. I hope this short piece finds you well.

Countrymen and women, one opponent which is virtually outrunning the strength of Students' Unions in Ghana have been the infiltration of mainstream or national politics in our students' front.

This has been a problem that has drained the enthusiasm, closely overpowering the power of "Aluta Continua" and silencing "Victoria Ascerta".

Compatriots, this challenge has weakened the students' front which was previously a strong piece for fighting students' course from colonial period till somewhere in the military regimes.
The mobilisation strength of the NCBWA, AASU, ARPS as well as all other intellectual unions that fought the oppressors rule in Ghana and Africa was derived from the students' front.

In times past and even today, the role, benefits and contributions of the National Union of Ghana Students(NUGS) cannot be overemphasized.

Many students through these struggles lost their lives, some fearlessly stood the whims and caprices of military oppression and suppression, all in the bid to speak for the interest of students; clearing purporting *"Education is a right and not a privilege".

The early days of NUGS were characterized by strong leadership who did not know any political party in Ghana when demanding the collective good for their constituents (students).

NUGS became a power broker, a rescuer of students and an advocate for the right policies in Ghana. This is evident in former secretary of the Peace Council's account of the role NUGS and other older students unions played in demanding accountability from governments.

Comrades, we are all witnesses that NUGS has birthed a lot of students unions like University Students Union Ghana (USAG), PUSAG, GUPS, NAHSAH, TTAG and many others.
The Union has also birthed and trained many past and present leaders of Ghana. Among them are Haruna Iddrissu(current Minority Leader and Mp of Tamale Central), Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa ( MP of North Tongue and former deputy education in charge of tertiary education under erstwhile Mahama Administration) Peter Kodjie( current Secretary General of All African Students Union-AASU) and many other great leaders contributing their quota to national discuss.
However, the once strong NUGS has now been paralyzed and has lost her ability to defend students motivated by various factions the Union has witnessed somewhere in 2011 and repeated in 2017 and 2018. NUGS is virtually dead to many including Abdul Momen of GBC and Manasseh Azuri of Multimedia as reflected in many of their social media articles and print/visual programmes.
Yes, there can be thousand and hundred reasons why NUGS is virtually dead to students needs today but the most predominant factor has been as a result of what I term as *Mainstream or Partisan Political Infiltration.
To avoid the long and unending tale, I can point to *Campaign financing* as a major contribution towards inviting *Partisan Politics* in the once strong and neutral NUGS.
*Friends, with a current form fee of Ghc1,500 and Ghc1,000 for President and other positions respectively, why won't Ghanaian students who are mostly fed by their parents but have interest of serving the Union not flee to seek financial asylum from mainstream political offices(who are always ready to shut students unions of their venom on the latter in delivering the rights of students).
Compatriots, chancing on a communique signed by the 2017/2018 vetting committee chair of NUGS, Albert Kesse with the amounts attached to the various offices as mentioned supra dazzled my hope that our generation is ready to cut the vicious cycle of financial asylum and weakening of NUGS.
How could a Level 200/300/500/600 average Ghanaian student raise Ghc 1,500 and Ghc1,000 just to purchase a nomination form towards serving our own union aside cost of travelling and other expenses towards campaigns?
Isn't it the union's motto that education is a right, not a privilege?
Can we not transcend similar towards service is a right and not a privilege?
I entreat all relevant and concerned stakeholders to rise and close the holes that are weakening NUGS.
I end.
Thoughts of:
Vivian Adwoa Konadu Nsiah
A concerned NUGS/GRASAG member

Views and opinions expressed by the writer do not reflect the editorial policies of Prime News Ghana.

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