The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has vowed to retrieve the certificate of its pioneer president, late Comrade Danlad Sunday Oladele, from the Yaba College of Technology (YabaTech), Lagos.
Oladele died last Monday, August 9, 2021 in Abuja, without getting his certificate 41 years after graduation from the college.
NANS president, Sunday Asefon, said though the school had promised to release the certificate at its next convocation following the intervention of the 9th Senate, Oladele passed on before the ceremony.
Asefon spoke on Tuesday while briefing newsmen in Abuja alongside Senator Dino Melaye, who is the chairman, Central Planning Committee for the burial of late Oladele.
Asefon, however, pledged that the leadership of the students’ body would ensure that the certificate is retrieved from the school before the remains of Oladele are buried.
Senator Melaye said Oladele’s certificate was being withheld by the management of YabaTech as a punitive measure over his activism during his days in the college.
He said, “The late comrade, alongside a few others, had in 1980 led the rebirth of the student movement from the proscribed National Union of Nigerian Students (NUNS).
“Recall that the Military Government of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo had, during the ‘Ali Must Go struggle’ led by late Comrade Olusegun Okeowo, banned student unionism, which was firmly organised under the National Union of Nigerian Students.
“This was done to weaken the growing voice and student resistance movement mounted continually against anti-people policies and programmes of the Military Government.
“In a rare act of courage, Comrade Danlad Sunday Oladele led others, regrouped them, wrote a new constitution and in 1980, founded the National Association of Nigerian Students.
“This effrontery later earned him and most of his colleagues varying consequences such as expulsion, rustication and withholding of their certificates.
“Being a dogged fighter with non-violent strategies and methods, he fought for good 41 years against the injustice meted out to him by the YabaTech management for withholding his certificate despite passing his exams.
“He secured several court orders mandating the management of YabaTech to release his certificate, none of which the school authority obeyed till his death.
“In June 2021, the Senate, through its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, in response to Comrade Danlad Sunday Oladele’s petition to the committee, invited him to a public hearing.
“He mobilized old colleagues within the student movement and the leadership of NANS to accompany him to the Senate hearing.
“Two weeks after, the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions re-invited him for another hearing where he had the rare honour of confronting the management of YabaTech before the distinguished senators.
“Seeing how long the injustice had persisted, the Senate mandated the management of YabaTech to release forthwith his certificate withheld for 41 years.
“With the intervention of the Senate Committee, the management of YabaTech agreed to present the departed leader with his certificate at their next convocation but unfortunately, he died two weeks after.”