OAU 8: Students' Union Demands Re-instatement Of Suspended Students
FROM THE LEADERSHIP OF THE UNION
Hasta La Victoria Siempre-Until Victory, Always!
‘’As long as injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest’’….Mandela
This is no time for any grandiloquent rhetoric neither any boisterous philosophical expostulation. Rather this is the moment for realistic practitionary appraisal of our situation. There is a need than ever to articulate a coherent analysis/response to the myriad of issues confronting our members and seeking to crode the basis of our existence as students and the historical custodians of popular struggles of the Nigerian people in the fight against the diabolical attempts to take education beyond the reach of the poor through hiked charges and advocating for the rights of our students to qualitative accessible education and a conducive learning environment.
As students’ leaders with clear sense of direction, we owe any administration of this university a commendation when it is responsive to the yearnings of our students, a blunt condemnation when it is deviating from the aspirations of our members and an unpharasical critism when it is become elitist or/and unduly inflicting pains via its repressive policies on our students as captured in the words of Frantz fanon is that “the future would have no pity for those men who possessing the exceptional privilege of being able to speak the words of truth to their oppressors, but have taken refuge in an attitude of passivity of mute indifference and some times ,of cold complicity’’.
HIKED FEES BY THE UNIVERSITY
The recent astronomical hike in fees implemented by our university management is already placing on OAU students untold hardship. Admission in our institution have begun to fall, postgraduate programmes have stated to dwindle, many students may have to withdraw from the institution. These issues are very grave and they are sitting on the keg of gunpowder. We have repeatedly stated our belief that qualitative mass education at all levels which is the sine-qua-non for national development is the responsibility of government. It will not be new that the students’ union had started a long term agitation on the introduction of devilish fees which do not only negate the tuition free policy of the government but also far from the affordability of indigent students. we had expected that the approach of the students’ union to the fee issue, the university management would have review the fees within the context of reasonability and human face. Instead the management of our institution ‘decreed’ the closure of our institution in response to the genuine yearnings of the ever peaceful Great IFE students. however, due to the demand of Great Ife students, the varsity has been opened and academic activities started but we must reiterate here our utmost dissatisfaction with the ‘peanut’ deducted from the astronomical hiked fees and we dare to say that IFE students will continue to agitate for a downward reasonable review of the astronomical charges.
For the avoidance of doubt! This current union leadership has always been advocate of dialogue and diplomacy. As part of our commitment to peaceful resolution on the hiked fees to guide against disruption of this academic calendar, upon resumption, we have written to the Governing Council, national assembly, ministry of education, academic staff unions of university and we have also been lobbying with different stakeholders and professors within the university community for the fees to be reasonably reduced.
Greatest IFE! The struggle continues and we have only retreated to facilitate a fight to finish as captured in the words of Sembene Ousmane ‘’a revolutionary is not he who fight to finish but he who facilitates a fight to finish’’.
VICTIMISATION AND RE-INSTATEMENT
It is most unfortunate that our university management which is supposed to be a constructive instrument to building a life in students has turned out to be a victimizing tool to repress students whom only demanded justice. The undaunted commitment of generation of Great IFE students to defending the core values and fundamental ideals of our union have been met with vicious attack from successive university managements. We dare say that the culture of victimization and repression which has become a characteristic of this administration and its predecessor before it is counter-productive and antithetical to the culture of intellectualism which the university is meant to promote. We should reiterate here that suspension, summary rustication and closure of the varsity have never and can never be the answer because they are merely superficial and escapist approaches to the glaring problem of our relationship. Without doubt, all victimized leaders and students are being hacked by the university management in a desperate bid to gag our union. Currently, all Executives of the Students Union are under probationary rustication for their involvement in the struggle against hike in fee and 8 other students are on indefinite suspension (
1.) IBIROGBA SAMUEL
2.) PELE OBASA
3.) ADEMUWAGUN JOHNSON
4.) SANYAOLU OLUWAJUWON
5.) OLUWOLE OLUBANJI
6.) BENJAMIN OLUSIJI
7.) ADABALE OLAMIDE
8.) ABIODUN ABIMBOLA
) for their principled defense of the collective interest of students and demand for justice. We re-affirm our believe that this courageous students are not criminals; they are conscientious students activists who are being unjustly victimized for defending the position of our union. Permit us to state at this junction that we are strongly of the opinion that indeed it is the university management that has violated all norms of justice and fairness by unjustly disqualifying them during the students’ union electioneering process.
Desire to maintain peace on campus is one we cherish, but it must be exercised within the context of justice and fairness and that is why our approach to reinstatement has started with lobbying and other diplomatic means as we have written to the Governing Council, ASUU and our various intermediaries to ensure immediate reinstatement and withdrawal of charges against students union leaders and activists. This approach we believe will be productive but should this method fail, IFE students might be left with no other option than to mobilize themselves in demanding for justice. We must defend and guarantee solidarity insurance for those who fought for us and those who get into problems while performing creditably the functions of leadership so that subsequent generation of union leaders will not be afraid to defend students right and the values of our union.
Conclusively, Greatest IFE! This current union leadership will continue to agitate and demand for justice in the emancipation of the students no matter the activities of OAU Association of Sycophants and Hypocrites(OAUASH) whose political insanity has reached its crescendo as consequence of absolute disregard for truth and hypertensive lust for hypocrisy just to bring down this progressive administration with frivolous propagandas. Our policy should suppose that of sectional sentiments and primitive loyalism. It should tower above hatching treacheries, fomenting intrigues, compounding domestic malice, nursing insinuations and making against colleagues for mere motive. OAU students should see the urgent need for their coming together to bury their hatchets in the monstrous heads of their common oppressors and persecutors. This is because dogs must not trouble dogs where there are wolves.
OUR DEMANDIt is important that we outline our demand at this juncture:
1.) Downward review of the astronomical charges
2.) Reinstatement of all suspended students
3.) Normalization of the students’ union leaders studentship
4.) Inclusion of students in major decision making organ of the university
La lucha sigue…..
Shittu I.Olatayo(S.I UNIT)