From Felix Ikem, Nsukka
Mr. Lamine Sow, Senior Education Specialist, United Nation Education Scientific Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) regional Office Abuja has said that effective student leadership is relevant for building peaceful and inclusive societies that will provide equal access to justice and good governance.
Sow said this in Nsukka on Thursday during a 2-day workshop tagged ; “Reinforcing the capacities of student union leaders and students affairs units to revitalise movement in Nigeria universities for good governance” organised by UNESCO in partnership with University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), for Students Union Governments (SUGs) and Department of Students Affairs in Federal Universities in the country.
He said the that, objectives of the workshop was to identify the challenges of student unionism in Nigeria and determin the strategies for enhancing internal capacity of students’ affairs unit for effective student leadership.
“It’s disturbing that most students union leaders in Nigeria have been unduly influenced by the prevalent negative values in the society.
“Most student leaders lacked articulated strategy to carry out f their tasks.
“Some don’t even understand the terms of reference guiding the office they occupy because they are sponsored by interest groups within and outside the institutions, he said.
He urged student leaders in the country to leverage on the capacity workshop to improve on their capacities as leaders in order to engage students, school authorities and government in dialogue without any form of violence.
“UNESCO will continue to pursue its mandate in search for a more just and peaceful world on your behalf as student leaders.
“I urge all participants to pay good attention to various topics packaged for this training so that at the end maximum learning will be achieved for better student unionism in the country,” he said.
The education specialist commended Dr Christian Ezeibe, the Associate Dean of Students Affairs Department UNN, the facilitator of the workshop, for his efforts and commitment in putting all arrangements together to ensure success of the workshop.
In a remark Prof Charles Igwe the Vice Chancellor of UNN said that the workshop had presented an opportunity to educate students union leaders on how to effectively engage university managements, policymakers and governments without resorting to violence or losing their voices.
“it is my expectation that at the end of this workshop participants will be able to specifically identify the role of students in addressing societal challenges and consolidating peace in Nigeria.
“I congratulate the programme facilitator (Ezeibe) for ensuring that all participants from different parts of the country attended the workshop ,” he said.
Earlier, Ezeibe (the facilitator) expressed special appreciation to UNESCO and UNN for the workshop which he said would go a long way to educate SUGs in the country on effective leadership as well as the need to use dialogue in seeking their demands.