From Fred Itua, Abuja
Pioneer national president of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Danlad Sunday Oladele is dead. According to the associates of the former Union leader, he died last week Monday.
Addressing reporters in Abuja on Tuesday, former Senator Dino Melaye said Oladele passed on in his hotel room in Abuja.
He said the late leader, alongside a few others, had in 1980 led the rebirth of the student movement from the proscribed National Union of Nigerian Students (NUNS).
The Military Government of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo had during the “Ali Must Go struggle” led by late Olusegun Okeowo banned student unionism which was organised under the National Union of Nigerian Students.
Melaye said: ‘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.
‘Comrade Danlad Sunday Oladele was born on 4th September 1949. Upon completion of his secondary school education which he passed in flying colours, he proceeded to YABA College of Technology, Yaba, Lagos for his Tertiary education and completed his studies despite being a fiery student activist.
‘Being a dogged fighter with non-violent strategies and methods, he fought for good 41 years against the injustice meted on 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 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, through its committee on Ethics and Privileges, 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 of National Assembly on Ethics and Privileges 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.
‘The fearless, articulate, selfless, accommodating, peace-loving, assertive and the Lanlate, Ibarapa East Local Government, Oyo State born Danlad Sunday Oladele spent a larger part of his life mentoring young activists and teaching them non-violent methods in fighting injustice. He was fair in his business dealings as well as generous to neighbours, comrades, classmates and friends.
‘Being the pioneer NANS President, a national burial, befitting of his kind, in collaboration with his family, is being coordinated under the Chairmanship of my humble self (Sen Dino Melaye).
‘While condoling with family, friends, colleagues and the student movement in its entirety, we pray Almighty God forgives his sins and grant his soul eternal rest. A comprehensive burial plan is being worked on and will be released, shortly.
‘Finally, let me now officially invite the media and good-spirited Nigerians to join us as we collaborate in giving this great Nigerian a befitting burial.’