‘‘Centre of safety turn den of death for Nigeria students’’
Gentle men of the press, the working masses, the base and threshold of change and the general public, the doggedness and tenacity of Nigeria students must be well adulated at this interval of our continued struggle and sustained agitation for better society which has been channelled towards ensuring and attaining not just modicum of change but as well a wholesale spread of the much needed change.
The Students’ Union being the fifth estate of the state has and will continuously maintain its non- partisan stand and will never cease to darn its gown of being a pressure group so as to press home the needs and want of its people. However, under this same parlance, the Great Ife Union, a pacesetter in Students’ Unionism both at the local and national stage, will never stop to be at the vanguard of political, economic and even moral agitation as it affect Nigeria Students both at home and in Diaspora.
The Great Ife Union with all sense of civility, responsibility believes that the mood of the nation is not palatable for silence; hence, Silence is no longer golden. The Union believes that ‘‘the sending to early grave’’ of shinning stars of the university community is becoming alarming thus there is a need for the community to stop it before it stops us. The case is not becoming just too alarming but utterly outrageous. This inimical and dastard act, we believe , should we have a rational and a clear-headed leadership at the helm of affairs of National Association of Nigeria Students(NANS), should have been condemned and repulsed by now but the Great Ife Union is not in any way surprise by this ‘‘un-Secre-Nene’’ act of NANS towards its immediate constituency. NANS have at various point taken reactionary and totally anti-students position. Needless to say it is appositely unwise for us to continue to look for an elephant with microscope.
ON THE DEATH OF MISS MARY MOTUNRAYO IBITOLU ON 6TH MAY 2015
Gentle men of the press, with a swollen heart, a grievous mind and a mourning soul we announce and take pain to inform you of passing away of one of the shining-star, dynamic and distinguished image of our union, whom we lost to the cold and vicious hand of death, who inadvertently fell the victim of being a Nigerian. The atmosphere that clouded her untimely death and the event that sent her to her early grave is more than clear to the media. The Great Ife union believe that the inept of the government both at the state and federal level have continued to hunt the innocent Nigerian students. We discovered that late Miss Mary Motunrayo Ibitolu, who was an emblem of beauty and brilliance cum intelligence, upon her accident was not quickly attended to by medical personnel; the vehicle that hit her was not by any standard of traffic regulations supposed to be on the road. If the apparatus of the government had been up and doing, the young lady could have saved or even avoided the death. However, we have come to the reality that she is no more with us. The Great Ife community continues to mourn Miss Mary Motunrayo Ibitolu who will forever remain in our heart.
ON THE DEATH VICTIM IN U.I AND RESULTANT PROTEST
Sequel to the mourning mood the student environment is thrown into, the report of the death of a fellow Nigeria student in the University of Ibadan was thrown at us like cabbage of moribund. Mayowa Alaran, a 200level student of Kinetic Human Movement met his untimely death as result of suffocation. Upon, getting to the University Health Centre, students were utterly disappointed as the management of the Health Centre failed to give proper attention instead demanded unreasonable items which eventually led to the death of the young man. It brings to the court of reasoning which should prevail during emergency...bureaucracy or loose of protocol. This inhumane behaviour of the management has become a re-occurring one. These lackadaisical attitudes of management have sent a lot of students to their early grave.
The Great Ife Students’ Union being a pacesetter and always at the focal point of social justice condemn this demonic act which is garnished with chronic wickedness. We maintain that the welfare of students should and must be of utmost importance to the University Authority at all strata and the well being of the studentry must not be jettisoned. We enjoin the Authorities at the University of Ibadan to do what is right and stop contributing to the established decadence of the political abattoir designed by the federal government and as such should desist from making the ‘‘Centre of Safety’’, the Den of Death for our Students.
The third law of motion states that for every action, there is always equal and unequal reaction. The protest by the U.I students was a reaction against malicious act vented on them through the lackadaisical attitude of the Authority. The students have complained of the incessant erratic and epileptic power and water supply. The trigger shot that broke the silence was the death of late Mayowa Alaran.
The Great Ife Union in the spirit of solidarity strongly support our brothers in their ‘‘Just Battle’’ which is a generational fight for justice, an injury to one is consider and injury to all. We believe that the unhealthy treatment students of the University of Ibadan are been subjected to is the modus operandi on other campuses. The Great Ife Union is making it bold to assert here, that we solidly and strongly support the U.I struggles which we believe is yielding positive result. We use this medium to make a clarion call on the incoming government to take the education sector seriously and better the welfare condition of both staffs and students so that the glory and brains that are capable of transforming the fortunes of the land is not been buried every day. However, a stern warning here, should this lackadaisical attitude continue, the future is bleak.
ON THE CONTINUED CLOSURE OF LASU
It should be noted to the press, the general public that the Great Ife Students’ Union is not unaware of the continued closure of the Lagos state University. However, it has maintained a near- silent position on this salient issue because of certain findings it has been making. We have come to discover that the state government is playing a lot of politricks with lives of students of this institution. The University premises have been under locks and keys since the election break. However, the elections has come and gone, the victors and vanquished been made known, thus the question of WHY THE CONTINUED CLOSURE? Comes to mind. Time, they say wait for no man; then I begin to wonder if the government of the day put this into consideration at all. While these students continue to lose irreparable time, their contemporaries in private institutions are graduating, the sad story is that upon graduation we are been judged with the same yardstick. It’s high time we began to understand that the future of these individuals is at stake. Students, Students Leaders and Lecturers should not be victimised for demanding and fighting for their right. In consonance and alignment with provisions of the 1999 constitution, section 18, objectives on Education, confirms Education as a right. Education should not be seen as a privilege.
The Great Ife Union condemns the malign and utterly malicious act and considers this as an act of victimisation upon demand for jusice. However, in solidarity with the Students of Lagos State University, we demand the immediate re-opening the institution for academic activities to commence without any throat-cutting conditionality.
On page 50 of the Guardian Newspaper of the 7th of May 2015, the special adviser to governor on education, Mr. Fatai Olukoya, was quoted as he passed a lot of Anti-people, anti-students and even anti-masses statements which lay credence to the government insensitivity and irresponsibility to its people and as a vibrant fifth estate of the state, we demand a withdrawal of such uncultured and reckless statement.
In conclusion, Greatest Nigerian students, Articulate Nigerian students, let it be echoed that every generation out of relative obscurity of purpose discovers its mission either to betray it or to fulfil it. Even at the most recent reactionary and backward stance of NANS, the Great Ife Union, though, not replacing NANS, is ready to be at the vanguard of political agitation, political conscientisation, sane leadership and progressive unionism as it has always been. Being the most radically organised union, it will continue to move and support the cause of progressive unionism and assert the mood of change on our campuses until our Aluta is continua and we begin to see the reality that our Victoria is Ascerta. We beseech appropriate Authorities to do what is right and ensure a better and conducive Nigeria.
Nigeria will be great again......Good people, Great Nation.
ALUTA CONTINUA, VICTORIA ASCERTA
Public Relations Officer, Great Ife Students' Union.
President, Great Ife Students' Union.