In the past, Arochukwu Students have been faced with so many challenges, these challenges rises from the inability of their leaders to build a solid students Union platform that will benefit her members positively, the unwillingness of the community itself to support their programs and give students a sense of belonging, the inability of the government of the day to empower Students to make learning less difficult for then.
The leadership problems facing NAAS over the years has been the major challenge stunting NAAS at the National level. The Association is made up of various Chapters (Tertiary Institutions across the country), these chapters have their own president and Executives that finally reports to the National body. The Unity and progress enjoyed at the National level is the fuel that keeps the various component chapters going. Unfortunately, over the years, chapters had performed better than the National itself.
In April 2018, the revolution started. There was a yearning for a New NAAS. So a new team was elected to lead this transformation process for the next two years. The election that saw Comr. Obasi Praise Genesis as NAAS National president with a mandate to restore the lost glory and put NAAS in her place as the highest Student Union body of Arochukwu Students worldwide, this was to be done within Four months or risk leaving the office.
In less than a month after the elections, I and my team were to come up with a blueprint on how to run the affairs of NAAS, we successfully did that. Our plans were laid down on a paper and was written in the hearts of my executives, it was clear that the restoration process wasn’t going to be easy but we were ready to do what we must do.
The first step we took was to reconcile ourselves with our National Patrons most of who barely remembered the last time they saw a National Executive visit them. We told them of our plans and how we hope to work with them in actualising them. They gave necessary advice and suggestions and promised to be available if only we are ready to work.
Our strategies were clear. We employed Socio-cultural and dynamic approaches. Social activities has always been a Student’s thing, so our next step was to put together our Inauguration/ first General Assembly meeting to be hosted by Abia State College of Education Technical, Arochukwu (NAAS ASCETA chapter). This event was a home coming for NAAS members in other institutions, a mass return.
We used the medium to allow Students register their PVCs or transfer to Aro. The three days long activity filled program was packaged to give members a good treat and adventure.
From our visit to Ogbiti Mazi Okoroji museum at Ujari (a site to behold) to our adventure into the thick forests of Amasu as we located the Onu Asu Amasu, the place where Mary Slessor came through and finally, our visit to 79steps and Arochukwu waterfall at Barraki where all members confessed they had never visited nor heard of its existence. That swimming experience and tour wrapped up activities for day one.
The next day saw more members troop into Aro as the news of our adventure had gone viral on social media. That evening, all members assembled at Amoba field for the Day Two sporting activities. Representing their various clubs, members appeared wearing colourful Jerseys. An exciting moment for all, girls and boys.
Our first G.A meeting and Inauguration held the next day at Theatre hall, ASCETA with the hall filled to its brim, NAAS chapter presidents led their members into the hall while Senate members and the outgoing executives took their seats. Also in attendance were the Arochukwu Youth leaders led by Prince Walter Okoroji and Nzuko Aro home branch president Mazi Jerry Onwumere.
After the meeting there was a special birthday celebration for members born from January to June, lots of cake to eat and wine to drink with a standby DJ to play good music, for the very first time, NAAS National brought back the grooving spirit that was once dead.
Worthy of note is this administration’s eagerness to bring NAAS closer to our parent body Nzuko Aro. We had said that Arochukwu Youths should get involved in all Aro activities in order to learn from our fathers and NAAS is setting the pace.
Now, we have a regular attendance at Nzuko Aro meetings and send representatives at necessary functions. Recently, we are partnering with Ikeji Arochukwu planning committee to ensure massive Youths participation in the festival, we are playing a lead role in promoting our culture. NAAS is currently playing a key role in the upcoming AROCHUKWU GOT TALENT 2018 scheduled for 22nd September, Eke Ekpe Eve.
Despite all the financial involvement in putting up an event, National Association of Arochukwu Students is set to to make history this Ikeji as they will host all Arochukwu LGA Youths in the upcoming AROCHUKWU YOUTHS SUMMIT 2018 at Atani Hall. On the 22nd of September 2018 by 10:00am prompt all road will lead to Atani for this summit. For the very first time in the history of Arochukwu Lga, Youths will gather to discuss their present and future. The summit is aimed at reminding the youths of their core values and responsibilities in community building. With the theme: THE ROLE OF ARO YOUTHS IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND NATION BUILDING: THE YOUTHS RENAISSANCE. Speakers and resource persons have been invited to lecture on topics bothering the youths: Career, Education, Politics, Entrepreneurship, Drug abuse, Crime, etc.
With all these plans on ground, NAAS National has just begun its journey to building a better Aro Youths through effective Students Unionism. Next month, we shall reach out to Secondary schools in Arochukwu through our annual Alvan Ikoku Memorial lectures and Quiz competition.
The youths have a role to play in community development, all we ask for is a chance to share our ideas and live our dreams. Support us today and let’s build a community we all will be proud of.
– Comr. Obasi Praise Genesis (NAAS NATIONAL PRESIDENT)