The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has kicked against the national honour expected to be conferred on Adamu Adamu, minister of education.
Over the weekend, it was reported that a total of 437 persons were nominated by the federal government to receive national Honours, scheduled for October 11 in Abuja
According to the list, five persons — Senate President Ibrahim Lawan, Olukayode Ariwoola, chief justice of Nigeria (CJN); Tanko Muhammad, former CJN; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO); and Amina J. Mohammed, deputy secretary-general of the United Nations — are nominated for grand commander of the order of the Niger (GCON).
Those listed for the award of commander of the order of the federal republic (CFR) are the late Abba Kyari, former chief of staff; the late Ibrahim Attahiru, former chief of army staff; Monica Dongban-Mensem, president of the court of appeal; Oladayo Amao, chief of air staff, among others.
However, it was further observed that former Senate President Bukola Saraki is missing from the list of persons nominated for the awards.
Also, Bayo Ogunlesi, founder of Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and described as the owner of Gatwick Airport is also not on the list
Adamu Adamu, minister of education, that has been negotiating with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for over seven months over the lingering strike without success is to be honoured with Commander of the Order of Niger (CON).
Reacting in a statement on Monday, Giwa Temitope, NANS spokesperson, said the move “is a clear pointer to the fact that Nigerian students have been taken for a ride”.
NANS blamed Adamu for the eight-month-long strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), adding that the Nigerian education sector has “totally collapsed” under him.
“It constitutes an insult to the collective intelligence of Nigerian students both home and in the diaspora that the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu under whose nose University students have been home for close to 8 months is to be awarded the National Honours of Commander of the Order of Niger (CON),” the statement reads.
“This singular act of the Buhari’s administration is a clear pointer to the fact that Nigerian students have been taken for a ride. And, we see this as the final straw that breaks the back of the camel of Buhari’s much-touted integrity.
“Over the years, successive administrations in the country have shown to the Nigerian people that the National Honours is more of recognition of patronage than recognition of excellence. But, Maj. Gen. Buhari (rtd.) has taken a step further to show to the mass of Nigerian students that we are not on the priority list of the administration.
“It is so unfortunate that a country which offered so much in hope and possibilities at independence has today become a land of suffering, insecurity and near hopelessness signposted by youth unemployment and an underfunded educational sector.
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“In a functioning country, both the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige who shamefully walked out of a meeting with the national leadership of ASUU at the instance of the House of Representatives and his Education counterpart would have been fired before now. But, the reverse is the case as Adamu Adamu under whose watch the educational sector of the country has totally collapsed is to be recognised with a National Honours for a job well done.”
The association said it will mobilise students back to the streets “in protest against the recklessness” of the federal government.