By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
The National Association of Kaduna State Students (NAKKS) has issued a 21-day ultimatum to Governor Nasir el-Rufai to meet their demands or face shutdown of activities across the three senatorial zones in the state.
They handed down the warning at a press conference held at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Kaduna Council Secretariat on Thursday October 11, 2018.
“In the light of the above we are giving the state government an ultimatum of 21days
(which ends on Thursday 1st November. 2018) to meet our demands as failure to do so, we shall, without compromise shutdown the 3 zones in the state ubiquitously
until our needs are met, this is not a promise, it is our decision.
“We call on all sister unions to join in solidarity as this matter affect everyone
whether directly or indirectly,” they said.
Speaking on their behalf, Secretary General NAKASS, Comrade J.T. Gwaza said that
they were gathered here as a united force to address an issue that has long affected the welfare as well as the wellbeing of Kaduna State indigenous students schooling round the nation.
“We must understand that Scholarship has played a salient role in making this
country, has it has impacted meaningfully to its development from colonial era till
date, as a matter of fact it help in giving birth to most of our Nationalist who fought
for the independence of this great Nation and that we strongly hold at heart.
“It’s no longer a news that we all know Scholarship was a major concern to our founding fathers prior to independence and even after, as they insisted strongly on it, in fact we still hear old folks speak of how wonderful it was for them those days, it was this same scholarship our Governor enjoyed in the 70s as well, its not in any human to deny fellow humans whatever privilege one enjoys such as scholarship. I read in one of the Governor’s write ups where he talks about those who went abroad were actually those who couldn’t get space here in the country, it is in the of this
statement that must times it gives me a chew why he pays more attention to
Foreign Scholarships to the extent that he ignores the local one which he was in
that same category during his own time? Again I ask, why?
“Today it is with a heavy heart we express our disappointment with the government
of Mall. Nasir El’Rufai to the general public over his neglect of tertiary students of
this greatstate in his acclaimed Educational reforms.
“This was the leadership we all had very high expectations for as students in the aspect of scholarship but to our disappointment, since the inception of his administration every appropriation bill had an allocation for scholarship but no payment was ever recorded made to local students which has led to the lugubrious hardship amongst our students especially Orphans, those from less privilege homes, those whose parents were retrench from the state civil service by his administration, those whose parents are retirees and the list goes on,” they said.
They said that the government of Malam Nasir el-Rufai introduced a new scholarship towards the ending of 2017 which was categorized into Merit (For Those with 3.5 upward), Need Base (For Those with 3.49 down ward), also for Sport Category and Special for people with Disability.
“These set scheme was given a good media projection which must of us and every other believer of the Governor clapped our hands not knowing it was all in vain, students were given a link to follow and register within less than 15 days not long after this announcement, we were able to get students to do so and they (Students) all traveled from all over the country as instructed down to their local governments areas for Screenings, and for some to the Scholarship board itself, risking their lives, forfeiting academics and spending their little pocket moneys as a result of the palatability of the prospective scholarship soon hitting their Bank accounts, as I read this some of them are graduates because they never saw the money for some of us we knew the whole scholarship thing was just a Propaganda.
“It was not Long in Zaria during an event organized by one of Zaria’s student
association we were again confronted with another hit by the Governor when he
say the state government are working together with Commercial banks to give
Kaduna state Students Scholarships in form of loans as it is been done in some
developed countries, that was when we knew we are not in any way close to the
middle of the tunnel, I personally find it hard to place why a Government that
comes to the media to Boast of generating so much revenue for the state yet can’t
pay students scholarships, truly speaking it’s not really a funny experience for
those of us following the trend of events in the state.
“It has been three (3) Academic Sessions now without a penny from the state
government to help Kaduna State Students augment for the high cost of living in
most school environment around the country which has brought about a perilous
experience to a lot of student, as a result of this ordeal over 73,632 students are
subjected to various forms of hardship and challenges ranging from Tuition Fees
which has led to deferment of sessions, Semester and in some cases even
withdrawal, also House Rents which has led students to stay more than 5 in a room,
and some sent packing, it must be noted this two above mention issues has really
brought concern especially in the aspect of ladies taken advantage of either
strangers or the opposite sex just for the sake of meeting ends which is not a good
record for this administration,” they lamented.
They further said that similarly, the cost of printing assignments has left some students with carry overs as some could not even borrow to do those course works as they were not even sure of the next meal.
“Now a new session is already here and some state institution have given a short time for registration the question is what will be the fate of Kaduna state students this registration season again?
“It must be understood that Kaduna State students are studying under intense
frustration which is leading to immense depression, thereby hampering on
Academic performance amongst students which has been on the decline within this almost 4years of this administration,” they added.
The group expressed displeasure over the sudden disappearance of Visiting Lecturers in state own institutions which has now complicated things as we see shortage of man power in Institutions around the state, which is greatly affecting most of us students schooling in those institutions.
“For God sakes this is the center of learning! It is so pathetic, we are tired of this
agonizing situations and we cannot take it anymore!”
NAKASS said that it has exhausted every means possible to dialogue with every relevant agency over this set issue for years now but to no avail as they keep giving stories every time an approach is made to resolve the set matter.
They further demanded for the immediate reversal of the new scholarship scheme as it all but a bunch of cake in the middle of nowhere in other words very unrealistic.
“For not paying the student scholarship as reflected in the state appropriation bill for 3 years, we want to believe you have intentions to which is why We demand for the payment in arrears of our old Scholarship Bursaries for those three Sessions.
“We also demand the refund of 500 Naira paid to the scholarship Board by almost 50,000 students to purchase scholarship forms which was never granted, payment should be made to their personal accounts as we all know some of them have graduated and others even are no more,” they submitted.