The Presidential Candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Prince Adewole Adebayo, has advised Nigerian students to consider the masses, especially the youth when making decisions regarding candidates contesting the 2023 general elections.
Adebayo gave the advice when he received a delegation of the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) who paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
Adebayo, who is the founder of Kaftan TV, said that when elected as President of Nigeria in 2023, he would be on the side of the masses and be committed to addressing challenges facing the country, including the education sector.
He advised the association not to only speak for students, but to play the role of representatives of the masses.
“The solution to your problem cannot come unless you have a critical mass that is going to hold the leadership accountable,” he said.
Adebayo said that Nigeria needed to improve on its education standards and promised that when elected, he would tackle the challenges of funds and other factors resulting in to close down of public universities for months.
Adebayo said he had a solid policy for education that would be implemented when he became president of Nigeria.
He said that the issue of funding for universities was not a problem but having a committed leader who would not turn education into a looting center.
“When I am elected president, I will ensure that government is removed from the Board of Trustees of the Education Trust Fund (TETFUND).
He promised to ensure that credible Nigerians were selected to serve on the board of trustees outside government control.
“I will not put a single politician on the governing council of any university,” he said.
Salahudeen Lukman, NANS Director of Policy, Research, and Partnerships, said the visit was part of the association’s decision to engage with all serious political party flagbearers ahead of the 2023 general elections on their plans for the youth of the country.
Lukman, who is also Head, of NANs Political Engagement, said that the students who constituted a critical percentage of the Nigerian population had decided to be actively involved in the 2023 general elections.
“It becomes a necessity that in every critical decision, that determines or dictates our living standards in the next four years, Nigerian students must take a critical decision and take a position.
“This has informed the decision of the NANS national leadership to constitute this very powerful and intelligent team of NANS leaders across the six geopolitical zones of this country.”
He said that such engagement with candidates on their plans for education and youth employment would form the association’s directive to its members on who to be supported in 2023.
Lukman said that Nigerian youths were not happy with the current security and economic situation, including the continuous close down of universities for months.
He said that the close down of public universities for months had made a high number of youths available tools for insecurity affecting the country.
Lukman, however, advocated for more funding for the education sector and lasting solutions to the current industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).