[Article] Awakening the Spirit of ‘Aluta’ in Nigerian Universities
Aluta is a word generated from Portugal and its meaning is generally understood by, at least, 90% of Nigerian universities’ students. Literally, it means “struggle”.
But in the academic world, it comprises of constructs like: struggle for good performance, struggle for rights, and struggle for political recognition among others.
Gone were the days when these struggles were very active and interesting. Students then can go to any length in achieving a collective goal. There is no individuality when it comes to such struggle.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) was very active in opposing the then military and civilian heads of state, especially when they introduced a policy considered not in students’ interest or favour.
In different institutions, there is the Students’ Union Government (SUG) or the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) as in the case of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria. These bodies serve as the mouthpiece of students, through which they express their minds and feelings.
Nowadays, the situation has changed. The bodies have, in many institutions, become unscrupulously weakened due mainly to the high level of corruption in all spheres of the country, including the education sector.
Therefore, there is the need for the students’ bodies to return to the old aluta ways to protect rights of the students which are now, more than before, threatened by the retrogressive policies of the government.