Nigerian Universities Students Body Governments - Issues and Solution

By Eze Scholar, Unizik.

Government is widely believed to be an instrument through which a society is organised in order to maintain law and order as well as advance the necessary social amenities in a community.
Popularly referred to as SUG, Students Union Governments were established in various institutions of higher learning to promote unity, orderliness and smooth relationship between students, school authorities and the state or Federal Government.

It is unfortunate that most SUGs in Nigerian Universities do not know the key objectives for which they were established.
This is why some student governments see the freedom they enjoy as an opportunity to cause mayhem and anarchy in their institutions.
It is true that there are legitimate issues of poor service and maladministration for which students should feel genuinely aggrieved, but it has since been proven that violence is not a solution to any problem.
Violent protests in Nigerian higher institutions have always led to destruction of properties and disruption of academic studies.
Most often, students themselves end up bearing the brunt of their actions as they are compelled to pay for property destroyed during such protests.
SUGs can write to the University authorities to listen to students’ grievances and explore opportunities for dialogue and not violence.
Most of the disagreements between students and authorities are usually caused by communication gaps.
By tabling their grievances reasonably and respectfully, students problem might be solve.
It is unfortunate that lives have been lost as a result of violent protests and this is a big blow to the families of victims.
Also, it is necessary to reserve the position of SUG President and leadership of the Students Representative Council, SRC of the various SUGs for students who have distinguished themselves to be good leader's through their actions, attitudes and maturity in reasoning.
Allowing a student that has little or no skill in governance to oversee the affairs of students can easily result in disorderliness and unorganized government which might result in the use of violence to achieve a goal that can easily be achieved through dialogue and diplomacy.
Furthermore, the various SUGs in our tertiary institutions should know that they were elected to serve students and represent their interest in order to promote discipline, orderliness and unity among students and their school authorities.
Finally, SUG positions should not be seen as an avenue to amass wealth but as an opportunity to serve and assist the university authorities in piloting the affairs of the students effectively for the advancement of learning.
Eze Scholar is a 400 Level Law Student in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria.

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