National Union of Students was founded October 1939 in Abeokuta Grammar School among students at the urge of the school’s principal, Oludotun Ransome-Kuti. The Union, at inception, sought to establish unity among Nigerian nationalities. The NUS collaborated with the Nigerian Youth Circle in organizing a youth rally in Ojokoro in November 1943, with the likes of Nnamdi Azikiwe, Rotimi Williams and Alakija addressing the audience. It was resolved that a national front be established, but after waiting for six months, the NUS observed that no organization or individuals had been energetic in taking up the gauntlet in order to form a national front.
Efforts were made to start to start a National Education Fund but the indecision pervading amongst the political class stalled the realization of this. With their youthful energy bubbling for action, members of the NUS issued a manifesto calling the people of Nigeria and Cameroons to action for the establishment of a national front. The Nigerian Youth Movement was nominated to spearhead the joint front but there was no headway. Among the NUS leaders were Adewale Fashanu, I.O. Dafe, Olubunmi Thomas, B.B. Bamgbose and P.N. Malafa. Patrons were Rev. I.O. Ransome-Kuti, Herbert Macaulay, Dr. Akinola Maja, Ernest Ikoli, Stella Marke, and Nnamdi Azikiwe.