How NANS Founder Died after defeating YABATECH

Yabatech: Again Students want late Sunday Oladele immortalised

Comrade Danlad Sunday Oladele, the pioneer president of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has died just two weeks after winning a battle for his Yaba College of Technology, YABATECH certificate release.

 

According to his son Olalekan, the late Oladele was planning big for his convocation before he died.

 

He said the 72-year-old activist was celebrating his victory against YABATECH after the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges in June 2021, ordered that his certificate be given to him after 41 years seizure.

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Olalekan Oladele added that his father died doing what he loved best, which is fighting for the masses, and he had no regrets.

How NANS Founder Died after defeating YABATECH
How NANS Founder Died after defeating YABATECH

Lamenting, Senator Dino Melaye, said Oladele’s certificate was withheld by the management of YabaTech as a punitive measure over his activism during his days in the college.

 

 


Oladele, alongside a few others, had in 1980 led the rebirth of the students’ movement from the proscribed National Union of Nigerian Students after the military government of Olusegun Obasanjo had, during the “Ali Must Go struggle” led by Olusegun Okeowo, banned student unionism, which was firmly organised under NUNS.

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Oladele was said to have led others, and they regrouped, wrote a new constitution and in 1980, founded NANS.

 

But his actions “later earned him and most of his colleagues varying consequences such as expulsion, rustication and withholding of their certificates,” Melaye said.

 

Oladele fought YABATECH for decades to get his certificate and, with the intervention of the Senate Committee, the management of YABATECH agreed to present him with his certificate at their next convocation but unfortunately, he died two weeks after.

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“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.”

 

According to him, a letter would be sent to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, Ministers of Education and Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, “to ask that this great Nigerian, who sacrificed all for the betterment of this country and who was denied justice for 41 years, be immortalised.”

 

 


Melaye said, “He came to Abuja to fight for justice where he met his untimely death. I want to believe that by the time we put our heads together, the Federal Government must immortalise him became there are people of less national value that have been immortalised by the Federal Government.

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“So, the Nigerian students’ body is requesting unequivocally that this great Nigerian be immortalised and one famous national institution in this country named after him.

 

“We, as also students, former students and leaders, still have Students’ Union Buildings that have not been named after individuals. We will encourage through the President of NANS that some of these institutions name their Students’ Union Buildings after this great Nigerian.” Dino Melaya added.

How NANS Founder Died after defeating YABATECH
How NANS Founder Died after defeating YABATECH

His son, Olalekan told The PUNCH, “I’m his first child and only son; I’ve two sisters. I’m glad that I spoke with him and our last conversation was a good one. He was in high spirits, suffered for 41 years, but died doing what he loves best.

 

“My father has always talked about his struggles to get his certificate from YABATECH. He was in high spirits, having got that Senate victory and was really looking towards that convocation ceremony in YABATECH in a big way.

 

“My father fought with love for the masses; it was never a burden to him. He never had any regret. His only regret was that his struggle to see better Nigeria was not actualised in his lifetime. But other than that, he never had any regret.”

 

 


Asked if he felt neglected and abandoned by the people he fought for, Olalekan said he never felt neglected, adding, “If he felt neglected, he would not have continued that struggle even when they denied him his right.”

 

He said, “Even at his old age (72), he had always continued the fight whenever NANS leadership called him. I won’t like to say he died poor but he didn’t achieve many of the things he really wanted. Because of the certificate issue, he couldn’t get to where he was supposed to be. But then, he wasn’t rich and didn’t die a rich man. But he wasn’t begging before he died.”

 

Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students has vowed to retrieve the certificate of its pioneer president.

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