The former President of the defunct National Union of Nigerian Students, Chief Segun Okeowo, has died in Sagamu, Ogun State.
Okeowo was the symbol of the struggle by Nigerian university students in 1978. The struggle was popularly known as “Alli Must Go.”
He died in the early hours of Tuesday in his residence in Sagamu.
Okeowo left public service in 2011 after serving as the Chairman, Ogun State Teaching Service Commission.
A former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, in a condolence message, described the late Okeowo as a legendary fighter and a true democrat.
Daniel, in a statement signed by his Media Assistant, Ayo Giwa, in Abeokuta expressed grief at Okeowo’s demise.
The former governor said that the late student leader was a legendary freedom fighter, who offered himself as a sacrifice in the struggle for the emancipation of Nigerian students, youths and the voiceless masses.
The statement partly reads, “I feel saddened by the death of Chief Segun Okeowo, a man of superior courage and principle. Late Chief Okeowo was a leading light in the fight for the liberation of the oppressed Nigerian students.
“His contributions to the liberation of the Nigerian students and youths were colossal. He is indeed the Mandela of Nigerian students’ unionism. With the death of Okeowo, we have lost a true servant of the people and a great liberator.
“He will also be remembered as a peacemaker and an advocate of true democracy as he made up with those he crossed path with during the 1978 struggle before his death.
“Late Okeowo, who led the entire Nigerian students, which included me in 1978 in what became known as ‘Operation Consultation, Consolidation and Confrontation’ truly measured up in leadership, perception, activity and responses.”
Similarly, the Senator representing Ogun East in the National Assembly, Alhaji Adegbenga Kaka, said Okeowo was in the vanguard of the democratisation of education in Nigeria, which culminated in the “Alli Must Go Episode.”