Bernard Avle Urges Student Leaders To Strive For Positive Change
The Managing Director of Citi FM/TV, and Host of the Citi Breakfast Show on Citi 97.3 FM, Bernardino Koku Avle, has encouraged student leaders to be radical, cooperative and selfless.
“Today's student leader must be collaborative. There are too many one-man mountains posing as leaders, many of whom are imposters. Today's student leader is you. You don't need a name; you don't need a position. There are many who occupy positions, but who have no influence. The definition of today's student leadership is not the SRC President…Leadership is not a position. Leadership is not an entitlement. Leadership is bringing positive change, whether it comes with a position or not,” he said.
“My urge to you today is not to strive for another position but to equip and prepare yourself because the questions of our day will not be solved by political positions alone…Rise and be that good leader; a leader who refuses to leave Ghana worse than he met it. I want to urge you to be the leader that you want…rise up to be part of the change that you want…police your vote by being an active student leader, by pursuing and following and making sure that everything promised is seen through,” he admonished.
Bernard Avle made the comments at a public lecture organised by the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) as part of activities to mark the institute's 11th SRC Week Celebration.
He further cited the case of the arrest of Reginald Sekyi-Brown, the then final year student of the University of Ghana, Legon, who interrupted the First Lady’s speech in May last year, to display a placard with the inscription '#OPENUGMCNOW.'
“So today's student leader, like the young man in the picture – he did not have a position. Many of you don't remember his name. He was arrested for disrupting the First Lady's speech. But through his agitation, and through his one-man stand, the University of Ghana Medical Centre, which for years had been left unopened, was opened, even though he was arrested,” he cited.
Prior to this admonition, Bernard Avle gave the gathering a brief trip through history with regards to the establishment of student leadership and its growth in Ghana over the years.
He cited numerous actions, both home and abroad, with emphasis on the call by the West African Students' Union (WASU) for an immediate decision on independence for the West African colonies.
According to him, the concerns of the Ghanaian University student haven't changed since the 1940s, hence, the need for the student leader to passionately carry out their role.
“So, history will tell us that in 1948, under the Vice Presidency of Nkrumah, WASU called for the immediate independence of the Western African colonies – Sierra Leone, Ghana, at the time called the Gold Coast, Nigeria, and a few other countries. This for me was an important part in the formation, not just of the nation-state Ghana, but also of the formation of student movements going forward,” he said.
The issue of student leadership has been a point of contention over the past few years, with the past few months being the most intense.
The country has recorded three major student uprisings at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana Institute of Journalism and University of Education, Winneba within the last six months.
The public lecture was organised on the theme 'Student Leadership: Activism or Party Politics' as part of the 11th SRC Week Celebration of GIMPA.
The event sought to explore the thin line that exists between the two natures of the subject matter and hopefully detach student leadership from partisan politics.