AHEAD of the August 9 gubernatorial election in Osun state, the battle for the soul of the amalgamated students’ union bodies in Osun State continued on Wednesday with a students’ rally in Osogbo, the state capital to support Senator Iyiola Omisore of the Peoples Democratic Party for governor.
Tagged Osun State Students’ Union, the group President, Waheed Omisakin, described it as a coalition of all tertiary school students’ union bodies in the state. A similar rally was held on Monday by some students claiming to be representing the National Association of Nigerian students, who endorsed Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the All Progressives Congress for second term in office.
Omisakin, who claimed that OSSU was established as a parallel body to the National Association of Osun State Students, said, “We are endorsing Omisore because Aregbesola didn’t do anything for students. Not one single road has been tarred in any of the institutions in Osun State and that is why we students have come out today to campaign against Aregbesola.”
Reacting to Monday’s rally by another set of students to endorse Aregbesola, Omisakin dismissed the students as government tools. He said the students who endorsed Aregbesola under the aegis of NANS were factions of the NAOSS and the Joint Campus
He said, “Last year, Aregbesola imposed his candidate on NAOSS during its election and many students were displeased. That was also how OSSU was established. We see NAOSS as an appendage of the state government, so we’re not surprised that it declared for the governor (Aregbesola) because the students
have been working for him before.
“The president of institutions like Osun State Polytechnic, Iree; College of Education, Ila-Orangun, College of Education, Ilesha; Federal Polytechnic, Ede; and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife are here. We are here to say we are the real indigenes of this state. The leader chairman of the JCC is from Ondo State. We the indigenes of Osun state cannot fold our hands and allow aliens to take over the government.”
Another student, who identified himself as the NANS Assistant General Secretary, Osun State axis, Esan Olabanjo, said it would be unwise for students in the state to support Aregbesola when lecturers of their tertiary institutions had just resumed work following months of industrial dispute with the government.
“We students are here to support Omisore because we want change.
Aregbesola’s government is a government of propaganda. He will give 1 kobo and say he gave N1,” said the student of the College of Health Technology, Ilesha.
“We students of each institution in the state are gathered to say ‘no’ to Aregbesola. We are not paid to do this. We are credible students on campuses and we have not seen the effects of the present government in our schools. No single block has been put down in any of the state tertiary schools for construction in four years and the schools just resumed after months of strike, so it will make no sense to vote for Aregbesola. The people who claimed to have had a rally to support him were not genuine students of Osun State institutions.”
Students form a large population of youths in the state and it is believed that its two strongest parties, PDP and APC will do all they could to have their support ahead of the governorship election to hold on Saturday, August 9, 2014.