Thursday, September 26, 2013 remains the date for unveiling the book titled “My time in the charging cloud: An anthology on African students’ movement struggle, social justice, democracy and goodgovernance.” A book written by my humble self, Oludare Ogunlana, which comprises of my leadership description and on-the-spot account of the Nigerian students struggle against the military.
The public presentation of the book will take place at the Conference Center, University of Ibadan where I started my students’ activism in 1990. Comrade Kingsley Kuku, a former students’ leader andspecial adviser to Nigeria government of Niger-Delta will deliver a keynote address. An erudite Professor Peter Okebukola, a former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, (NUC) isbill to chairman the occasion while Comrade Adeola Soetan, also, a former students’ leader and veteran activist will review the book.
The book reflects an enduring interest in the issue of leadership and the role of students/youth organisations in public policy issues. It consist of of great speeches and solidarity messages from the likes of Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, former President of ECOWAS Commission; Chief Bisi Akande, former Governor of Osun State and current Chairman of the All Progressive Congress, (APC); Professor Peter Okebukola; Comrade Gbenga Olawepo; Prof. Mkpa. A. Mkpa, former Vice Chancellor of Abia State University; Prof. Francous Rajaoson of Madagascar and Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the incumbentpresident of Nigeria among others
MY TIME IN THE CHARGING CLOUD is a delight for development workers and researchers whose activities involve students and youth movements. It gives an insight into the origin and transformation, workings and activities of student movements. The triumph and travails of youth leadership and the contending challenges facing African youths were captured in thoughtful presentations by a faculty of experts at organized forums nationally, regionally and globally.
The book is divided into four sections with chapters. The first section is on thoughts and reflections of the author. The second section delves on student movements in Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and South Africa, including a concise biography of the All-Africa Students Union (AASU) and International Union of Students (IUS).
The third section is in thirteen chapters covering paper presentations delivered at international events organized by (AASU) in conjunction with international organizations and governments. The concludingsection is material documentation of some activities of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), and All Africa Students Union (AASU), while the author held sway as the President and Secretary General respectively.
There is no doubt in the fact that the National Association of Nigerian Students, (NANS) was at the forefront of the struggle against the military juntas in Nigeria. The members of the NANS were the foot soldiers on the battlefield of the struggle while some people were hiding in Europe and America with their family.
Today, nobody among the beneficiaries of the struggle has come out in the open to acknowledge the role played by the young people who lost their lives, expelled from the colleges and universities as a resultof their commitment to our freedom in Nigeria.
Chief Obafemi Awolowo said in one of his famous speech that “it is easy to tell a story but it is not an easy matter to write history.” Hence, the documentation of the historical facts about the contribution of the students’ movement in Nigeria towards the enthronement of the democracy in Nigeria is highly imperative.
Therefore, the book is dedicated to my friend, Late Comrade Moses Oisakede, the deceased President of NANS, who lost his precious life on September 1, 1999 in a ghastly motor accident while on active service leading other student leaders to University of Agriculture, Makurdi, to intervene for the reinstatement of expelled students’ union leaders in the school.
Also, to all genuine soul mates of the early 90s in the dangerous enterprise of radical students and youth leadership in AFRICA whose committed voyage into the Charging Cloud of Youth Activism beckonshope for millions of despondent youth of the richly endowed but badly managed continent. My comrades; Guillaume Kigbafori Soro who later became the Prime Minister of the Ivory Coast; Kingsley Kemebradigha Kuku who is current Special Adviser to Nigerian Government on Niger-Delta; Comrade Omoyele Sowore, former UNILAG President and current Publisher of Saharareporters; Comrade Adebowale Esho, former U.I.S.U president; Dr, Malcom Fabiyi; Comrade Ezenwa Nwagwu, former V.P, National Affairs of NANS; Dr. Anthony Fashayo (Tony Fash), Mr. Seth Ofori-Ohene, Monsieur S.Drame from Senegal, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Communication Republic of Ghana and Benson Obua-Ogwal, a member of the Parliament in Uganda.
Finally, you cannot complete the history of students’ movement in Nigeria without a mention to the enfant terrible Olusegun Mayegun, a former NANS president in 1992. He was an inspiration despite the fact that we belong to different opposing ideological camp.
“My time in the charging cloud” is a must read for the present crop of youth leaders and activists all over Africa.