Foremost unionist and former President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Mr. Lanre Arogundade has documented his account of stewardship of the students’ body when he led its struggles.
His memoir captures his interventionist and leadership roles in student unionism at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in the early 80s.
The book also dwells on aspects of his childhood and early education.
Significantly, Mr. Arogundade was President of NANS at the same period Major General Muhammadu Buhari was the military Head of State. He led several struggles against the military government especially on its planned commercialisation of education in Nigeria.
NANS was a successor umbrella body of students in Nigeria following the ban of the National Union of Nigeria Students (NUNS) led by late Segun Okeowo.
The over 250-page book titled: Breaking Coconut with Your Head (Akowe’s journey in student unionism) recalls the role of a generation of students’ union activists in defending the right to independent unionism and fighting for a functional tertiary educational system.
It will be formally presented in Lagos on Monday, October 10, at an event to commemorate Arogundade’s 60th birthday.
A statement by a member of the Planning Committee, Mr. Ayo Aluko-Olokun, said “the event will be chaired by legal luminary and rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, while the Chief Presenter is Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC Chairman and former students’ Union leader at the University of Sokoto during Arogundade’s era of NANS”.
Dignitaries from different walks of life including past and current activists, top government functionaries, school administrators, ASUU leaders, trade unionists, etc, are expected at the book presentation as Guests of Honour and Special Guests.
The book will be reviewed by Prof. Rotimi Olatunji, Dean, School of Communication, Lagos State University.
The event which will hold at The Event Centre, off Lateef Jakande Road, between Government Technical College and Afrikan Shrine, Ikeja-Lagos, from 11am.
Lanre Arogundade is the Executive Director of International Press Centre, a media resource institution established to facilitate the role of Nigerian and African media in democracy and development.
He was a former Chairman of the Lagos State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and has authored two books previously – Media and Elections: The Professional Responsibilities of Journalists and Fela: Yesterday’s Message as Today’s Reality.