NUGS-Russia has been a vibrant non-political student movement since its inception in the late ‘90s. It was initially made up of students from the various countries that made up the Soviet Union (then NUGS-Soviet). However, the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 90’s presented the biggest challenge and threatened the very survival of the union.
NUGS-Russia, a miniature model of the mother union NUGS-Ghana has had a chequered history. From the geopolitical rift created during the early revolutionary period through to the insensitive early post–revolutionary period when the government of the day (Ghana) ceased payment of student funds and stipends. In the midst of all the cacophony that threatened the existentiality of the union, some patriotic ones stood tall.
Such names as Kikimoto, Nunepeku, Asirifi Amoako, Abu Mohammed ,Frank Adusei Poku (immediate past president) just to mention but a few will go down in the history books as trusted comrades who fought for the group. Though the realities of the fragmentation of the union lingered on and emerged several times, the provisions and basic eligibility requirements of the union as well as its core structures and functionalities have been maintained. Suffice to say that the constitution has been obsolete in decision making.
A Congress was held on the 3rd of May 2013 on the theme “public/private funding of higher education. Mr Rex OseiDoku a graduate student delivered the key note address.
In his submission, he delved into the complexities of the problems confronting higher education in terms of funding and expounded on why it is not attractive for investors. He made some insightful suggestions to remedy the situation and challenged both government and private sector to work hand in hand to savor an already decline in quality education.
The intellectual prowess of the Ghanaian student was once again revived when a debate on the theme of the congress was conducted by the organizers. Veliky Novgorod who was ably represented by Benedictus Deku and governor Samuel Bisilji squared up with the lads from Moscow who were also represented by Charles Akoto Lamptey and Agnes gaga.
At the end of the successful congress there emerged a new breed of leaders who were chosen to represent the union for the next academic year. The Frank Adusei Poku –Shine Brian Tsar led administration which included prince Abakah as general secretary, Godwin Adukpo as financial secretary and Samuel Antwi as organizing secretary handed over to the Shine Brian-Alhassan Mohammed administration made up of Sowah Anthony- general secretary, Joshua Mbroh-financial secretary and Richard Owusu Mensah-organizing secretary. Looking back and making a comprehensive analysis of the tenure of office of the Adusei Poku led administration; the very pessimist will even agree that they did contribute a lot to the group. Mr. Poku, the first private student to head the position as president, forged to bring unity between the government and private students.
The decision carried on by his administration to visit all the local chapters was a very significant move that was widely lauded looking at how time–consuming and tiresome it can be travelling across the length and breadth of a big country like Russia.
Some of the successes chalked by the Frank Adusei Poku-led administration were the inception of a Radio Station popularly referred to as “Radio Nash”. The radio station has been very potent and students’ participation is increasing daily. The online radio station sought to inform students on the happenings in Ghana and beyond and to also develop capacities of students for media work and opportunities.
The organization of the career fair which sought to bring to fore the knowledge students needed to make the right career moves also took place. The experts who were brought in as resource personnel did well to whet the appetite of the students with opportunities that were unknown to some of the participants at the seminar. At the end, the call on students to continue the fair annually was seriously considered by the administration and hopefully it will be happening in the coming academic year.
The review of the constitution of NUGS-Russia has been a significant exercise thanks to the effort of the the judicial commission. The importance of the review could be categorized into a need and an extent. There was the need to review the constitution since the drafters of the constitution did not foresee the emergence of private students and other factors which space will not permit for enumeration. In some respects, the constitution, impressive though it was, had also failed to translate some principles into tangible, practical instruments. This glaring inadequacy was seen in the dispensation of justice, electing of leaders etc. Since a constitution cannot operate in a vacuum, there is the need to keep on educating members, for them to know their rights and responsibilities.
Sponsorship for the union took incredibly new tone- collaboration with Renaissance Group yielded some revenue into the union. This is a partnership that the union hopes to strengthen in the coming years to foster the already good relationship between the students union and the investment firm. The successful implementation and execution of the e-voting system in the just ended elections is an achievement that we should all be proud of. So far no body has come out to complain about any anomalies and the electoral commission should be proud for taking a technological step to protect the sanctity of the vote of students who participated in the elections.
In a divisive way to take the “shine” from the Brian Tsar administration an article dated Friday, 3rd May 2013 and titled “Legon students Kick NUGS –Russia” which is “attributed” to one Prince Agyemang a self- acclaimed former vandal was posted on a lot of sites seeking to degenerate and humiliate the immediate past president and the current president. The current leadership seeks growth instead of vindication and hence will not be moved to wallow in pettiness and will respond if need arises.
In pursuit of landmark achievements, the administration has immediately launched the union's television station, first of its kind by any African student group- local or abroad, masterminded by President Tsar. In these times of colossal student expectation, it is only an administration with drive and innovation, a thirst-for-more attitude, and a character of inclusivity that can guide the union into the future; exactly what the new administration, with Shine Brian Tsar as President and Mohammed Alhassan-Vice President, Sowah Anthony- general secretary, Joshua Mbroh-financial secretary, Richard OwusuMensah-organizing secretary,anew breeze is over a union with a future brighter than ever before.