Nigerian Campus Editors Describe OAU SU Suspension As Return To Autocracy
Campus Editors across Nigerian tertiary institutions have voiced out their opinion on the recent suspension of the Obafemi Awolowo University Student Union by the Management of the institution, they described the development as a return to autocracy.
In a Press Statement issued by the umbrella body for the Editors; National Association of Nigerian Campus Editors (NANCE), it commended the coordination of Ife student and questioned the resolve of the Bamitale Omole led administration to suspend the Union activities without any reason.
"The news of suspension of OAU Student Union activities came to us as a rude shock. We have been following the trend of activities of Obafemi Awolowo Student Union in the past few days, we must commend the great coordination of Ife students in exercising their rights and also showing they are conscious.
"In any sane assembly, the right to peaceful assembly is never a disputed fact and now that even at the federal level, youths are given the platform to air their thoughts, a democratic and responsible leadership even make available ways by which people can make their opinions known. Professor Bamitale-led administration has decided to rule without criticism, even Obama does not enjoy that opportunity.
"In Nigeria, when a critic comes up, the sitting government will always find a way to frustrate efforts of such critic, we expected that an academic environment should be that of civility and maturity .
It is a bad situation that instead of looking for ways of listening to students' agitation for better welfare and hostels, Prof Bamitale Omole led administration is busy looking at ways of suspending the institution's Student Union, in a typical Nigerian autocratic way. We will not be surprised if OAU Management is scared of something."
The student editors however went further to agitate for the probe of the Nigerian Vice Chancellors.
"Finally, we are pushing that all universities in Nigeria write a joint petition to the President of the federal republic of Nigeria not just for OAU but for the probe of activities of all Vice-Chancellors in Nigeria.
"Our vice chancellors are looking too powerful to be probed but we challenge the federal government to rise up to the challenge starting with the vice chancellor of OAU.
"We appeal that all youth bodies/student organizations come together to fight against autocracy that is beginning to dwell in our institutions."
It will be recalled that the students of Obafemi Awolowo University got their Student Union activities suspended following the protest by students to agitate for a better welfare condition.