Tjhe National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), has endorsed the senatorial candidate of Labour Party (LP), Southern Kaduna, Zone C, Engr. Mike Auta, as their sole candidate in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
The endorsement follows the scholarship given to 115 students of tertiary institutions across the 23 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Kaduna state by the senatorial candidate.
Auta offered the scholarships during a one-day symposium of technical and vocational education in Nigeria, held on Thursday in Kaduna.
The National President of NAPS, Sunday Asuku, said the students were overwhelmed with the kind gesture, adding that contemporary society is in dire need of individuals who are willing to give back to the society without expecting anything in return.
He said NAPS did not plan to endorse Auta because it was not a political programme.
He, however, said relevant stakeholders present at the event deemed it fit to make their stand known and give directive to polytechnic students across the country to support individuals with track records regardless of their tribe, religion or ethnicity.
A former stakeholder of NAPS, Abdulsalam Kazeem, who moved motion for the endorsement, said, “I see no reason why this man cannot be endorsed. This is the kind of persons we need in our society.
“I sat down quietly observing how this scholarship was given and I found out that this man is not sentimental at all. The scholarship cuts across the 23 LGAs of Kaduna state with both Christians and Muslims benefiting equally.
“I called for his endorsement and ratification because to whom much is given, much is also expected, It is a way to encourage him to continue the good work and we will continue to stand for such persons regardless of their political parties, religion and other interests.
“Our country is so divided and because of that we will continue to support individuals who will not divide us further,” Kazeem said.
Speaking with Journalists on the sideline of the event, Auta said humanitarian service is part of his agenda to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty within a short period of time.
Auta, represented by his Director of Communication and Strategies, Jotham Ayuba, lamented infrastructural decay of the educational sector, especially polytechnic institutions, stressing that adequate attentions were not given to education and as such would be very difficult to achieve substantial development.
“This is not the first phase of our scholarship, we have students on scholarship in different institutions like
Baze university, Nile University and outside the country. We are still going to do more so as to be able to assist as many less privileged persons as we can.
“Education no doubt is the strongest weapon we can use to shape the societal strength of human characters, behaviour and building our societal values. Without such human capital investment in the area of education, only things of the past that will keep unfolding.
“As we all know, the Nigerian higher education system, including polytechnics has seen chains of multi-faceted problems in recent times,”Auta said.
He added that Polytechnic objectives as stated in the Act establishing it and its invaluable roles and contributions to the socio-political and economic development of Nigeria, are an undisputed fact that polytechnics should have been recognised as ‘polytechnics education for all’.
“The World over, Polytechnics education develop the middle-level technical capacities that underpin economic growth and development, but unfortunately today, the polytechnics are filled with crises of various dimensions and magnitude,” he said.
Auta further said that a number of multi-faceted problems had pinned down goal achievement and are raising questions, doubts and fears which combine to suggest that the system is at a crossroad.
“There is therefore, the urgent need to look into the effective management of the nation’s education and dissect the challenges with a view to achieving effectiveness, quality and relevance in the entire system.
“This is to provide trained manpower in applied sciences, technology and commerce, particularly at sub-professional grade.
“It is not too far from the truth that Nigerian polytechnics are fast decaying as all the resources for education process are in short supply. Lecture halls, laboratories, students hostels, library space, books and journals, office spaces are seriously inadequate,” he said.
He noted that the problems had left the equipment for research and learning either lacking, inadequate or in a bad shape to permit basic functions of academics.
Auta also lamented that Polytechnics are losing value and causing the widespread migration of academic staff from either the universities or polytechnics to overseas where their services are better rewarded.
He called on Government and well-meaning Nigerians to prioritise education and equip future leaders with all they have got so as to be able to move the nation forward.