The Deputy Minister for Education in charge of Tertiary Education, Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, has challenged the Leadership of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) to stand up and be counted in the scheme of the nation’s development.
According to the Deputy Minister, NUGS seems to be failing in the pursuit of the noble paths of patriotism, social activism and sense of solidarity with the oppressed in society as was championed by the founding fathers of the Union some 50 years ago.
Mr. Ablakwa made these comments when he delivered the keynote address at the official launching ceremony of the 50th Anniversary celebration of the National Union of Ghana Students in Accra.
The Deputy Minister, who was himself a NUGS President some 10 years ago, expressed disappointment at the weakened front of the foremost umbrella body of students in the country. He blamed it on the lack of total appreciation of the history of the Union and the sacrifices made by its founding fathers.
He bemoaned the fact that the successive leadership of the Union have allowed their ranks to be infiltrated by people with political interest and in the process they traded themselves and the student union for less in exchange of political expediency to the detriment of the wider interest of the population.
“These days, you go and seek approval in Siidi Abubakar’s office or Sammy Awuku’s office. They have to endorse you as the chosen one before you go and announce to students that you have NUGS Ambition. The Union will not survive with that kind of mechanism,” the Deputy Minister observed.
He contended that, NUGS seems to be suffering a diminishing returns in the sense of devotion and contributions by its members and probably experiencing its lowest ebb in popularity as compared to its forefathers because its leaderships over the years have stop being the mouth piece of the ordinary people and have instead been focusing their attention on themselves and the things that government and the society should provide for them.
“It saddens me to note that since I became a Deputy Minister over four years ago, not a single position paper has come to my desk as the position of NUGS on national issues,” Okudzeto-Ablakwa noted.
On his part, the current President of NUGS for the 2015/2016 academic year, Michael Paa-Qwecy Adu, observed that the youth of the country no longer want to be encouraged to participate in nation development, rather, they want to be engaged constructively to participate in the formulation of policies and the implementation of same.
He also cautioned politicians to stay away from using the youth of the country to do their dirty laundry work to mare the peace of this year’s upcoming general elections. He also admonished the politicians to desist from making promises they know they can’t fulfill since NUGS would use all available legitimate means to ensure that such promises are honored at all cost.
The official launching of the celebration and the cutting of the 50th anniversary cake was done by the first President of NUGS Lawyer Thomas Ward Brew.
A newly constituted National Union of Ghana Students was formed in 1965 with Thomas Ward Brew as its first President after over a decade vacuum in the student leadership front when the then colonial authorities withdrew support and recognition for the then National Union of Gold Coast Students in 1952 on the suspicion that its ranks had been infiltrated by communist elements.
In his speech, Mr Ward Brew, encouraged the current leadership of the Union and the upcoming ones to shoot NUGS back to relevance by building schools out of their own resources across all the regions by making use of the wealth of human and technical resources from the institutions that are affiliated to it as an umbrella body.
Dignitaries that graced the occasion included Deputy Minister for Transport, Joyce Bawa, representatives from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), as well as resident ambassadors from Palastine, Algeria and the Peoples Republic of Cuba.
Source: Clement Akoloh || spynewsagency.com