NANS torn apart over ‘Golden Man’ award to Buruji Kashamu
Members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) are divided over the ‘Golden Man of the Year’ given to Senator Buruji Kashamu by NANS National President, Tijani Usman.
Trouble started after Usman presented the award to Kashamu, a Senator representing Ogun-East senatorial district, at a ceremony held in Ogun state last week.
In a statement issued by its Chairman, Dotun Opaleye, the Ogun State chapter of NANS, criticized Usman and distanced itself from the award.
“This incidence is terribly disturbing to all sane minds and is capable of drawing the anti-corruption crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari backwards when men of questionable character who are wanted by American authorities for drug crimes are celebrated by the apex student body,” Opaleye said.
“We sincerely ask: What is so golden about Kashamu? Is it because he destroyed the Peoples Democratic Party in the South-West?”
Usman had at the presentation described the Senator as a ‘large-hearted’ said the association decided to encourage him to continue his philanthropic gestures with the award.
“We decided to honour Senator Kashamu because we know that he is neither the richest businessman nor politician in Nigeria, yet we constantly hear of his philanthropic gestures to Nigerians of all shades and colours, especially the less-privileged.
“We are fascinated at his large-heartedness even in the face of needless distractions.
“We reckon that if all wealthy Nigerians are like Senator Kashamu, the country will be a better place for us all.
“That is why we decided to encourage him by giving him this award.”
But Opaleye faulted Usman’s claim of the Senator’s ‘philanthropic gestures’, adding that students of the state have not benefited from him.
“What has Kashamu done for Nigerian students domiciled in Ogun State to merit such award?
“Even in his immediate environment, he hasn’t been able to donate a single toilet to schools like Olabisi Onabanjo University or Abraham Adesanya Polytechnic, not to mention other schools in his senatorial district like Tai Solarin University of Education.”
Also reacting to the award, the Ogun State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has through its Publicity Secretary, Sola Lawal, also faulted the NANS leadership.
“The honour signifies a pitiable erosion of value which points to the fact that indeed the future is bleak for the future generation of Nigerians as represented by the current leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students, that has been so debased, backward and visionless,” Lawal said.