NATIONAL Association of University Students (NAUS), an allied body of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has made a passionate appeal to Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation (ANPC), Publishers of the National Light and the leadership of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Anambra State Council, for a healthy working relationship in building a greater Nigeria.
The body’s president and his executive team explained that beyond student unionism, a symbiotic interaction between the media and leaders of students will not only enable it pass the feelings of the Nigerian students across the world but let the society know how the youths of today, especially, those in all Nigerian universities view their world.
National president of the association, Simon Felix Ijegalu, made the appeal while on a courtesy call on the leadership of the two media bodies, at the corporate headquarters of Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation(ANPC), Awka, Anambra State.
Speaking on the essence of the visit, Ijegalu described media as the voice and mouthpiece of society, saying that his association needs media to promote its activities and communicate its ideas to the larger society.
“As the leadership of all the university students in Nigeria, we are here to familiarise ourselves with the voice of the people which is the media. They (the media) are the voice of every persons and groups in the world. They are the people who pass the heartbeat, the feelings and observation of the people across. So, as a union, we are seeking partnership with them, to have a working relationship that will make it easier for us to communicate the ideas of the students and to know the best way they (media) can promote the content of our union”, Mr Ijegalu said.
He added that his administration has a lot that the world needs to know about, a task, he said, would only be done by the media.
The students’ leader, who is of Igbo origin, recalled the popular Igbo adage that charity begins at home said that his union, having a bond with well-focused, Anambra State-based media organisation, ANPC and the Anambra State Council of NUJ, automatically has what it needs to reach the world and get its programmes amplified.
While appreciating the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation (ANPC), Chuka Nnabuife, who he described as a father to the students, the student leader, however, expressed displeasure over lack of concern and support which he said, he observed among the Igbos whenever a national issue comes up, stressing that there are many Igbo young people with enormous potentials who need to be supported by the Igbos who are well to do; though he recognised the assistance of few Igbo men who along with the ANPC MD and CEO, supported his leadership since its inception.
“Then we had the former Director of DSS, Mr Linus Isiaku; the second person that also supported us after we won is Wiper, the Commissioner for Trade and Commerce of Anambra State. Eternally, we are grateful to them all.
“However, most of the Igbo people that are supporting us now simply do so because they see us appearing on Channels; they called me because they saw me on TV. But there are a lot of people who have potentials to fly like that, but they need feather, support”, he said, noting that lack of support from Igbo elites is a serious challenge before his administration.
Responding, the hosts took turns to encourage and advise the student leaders to be resilient and undeterred, assuring them of ANPC and NUJ’s unalloyed support.
The MD and CEO, ANPC, Sir Nnabuife, thanked the student leaders for their visit, describing it as being of help to both parties – the mass media community and students.
“If you have the press, you have done more than half of your job. So, this move you people have made is helpful both for you and for us.
“Within the remaining period of your tenure, you can achieve a lot if you work very well and liaison with the media. Here, we will also do our best”, the ANPC MD and CEO assured.
He further praised the student leaders for their positive impact on the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and their doggedness in student activism, which he said, was yielding a positive result in the nation’s education sector today.
In his remark, the Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Anambra State Council, Sir Emmanuel Ifesinachi, urged the student leaders to put on a dogged spirit notwithstanding any challenge which he noted are possible whenever an Igbo man occupies any notable national position of leadership like leadership of NAUS.
“I encourage you; you must have that spirit of Igbo man and be ready to face stiff challenges”, he advised, promising the students union that Anambra NUJ under his leadership, will use whatever it has to support them.
Also speaking, the Secretary, NUJ, Anambra State Council, Mr Emmanuel Udugha, said that any leadership position at the national level was very important, reminding the student leaders that their attainment of the position is not a prize that has just been won, but a duty to be carried out successfully.
He told them that media cannot do without content as well as programmes and urged them to ensure that they have programmes of which media will lay hand on in promoting the union.
“So, I am asking you to go and develop content, that is, the programmes you will be telling people about; it is these programmes that will sell and promote you. They will also help to write your stories”, he explained.
In a vote of thanks, the National Secretary, NAUS, Comrade Stephen Okpalaobi, emphatically expressed gratitude to the Anambra NUJ and the ANPC MD and CEO, Sir Nnabuife, of whom he said, has been standing by NAUS as a father, adding that his name and his contribution already given to the union will remain indelible in the annals of its history.
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