The South-West chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has warned the management of Obafemi Awolowo University concerning its decision to suspend the Students’ Union of the institution.
It will be recalled that the Senate of the University took this decision to suspend the Union on Friday amidst fears that the students, who held a lecture boycott on Monday because of the poor living condition on campus, would stage a protest and try to disrupt the coronation of the new Ooni of Ife. The students and the leadership of the Students’ Union have denied such plan and they claim the Vice-Chancellor is only trying to cover up his corrupt deeds. The students have since been asked to go on a compulsory “mid-semester break”as the campus remains on a lockdown.
In this regard, the Public Relations Officer of NANS Zone D chapter released a statement and warned that all hell will break loose if the Students’ Union of the institution is not restored. Below is the statement;
THE MANAGEMENT, OBAFEMI AWOLOWO UNIVERSITY ILE-IFE: TO BE FORE WARNED IS TO BE FORE ARMED.
The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them when doing it without action.
The leadership of National Association of Nigerian Students, South West has long observed with all seriousness, the tyrannical and undemocratic rule of the OAU management, it is regrettable that we are witnessing a complete denegation of education and lack of fore sight.
It is so saddening, ridiculous and satanic for the management of a school like OAU to come out with the ban of the Students Union in this democratic and civilized 21st century. The Students Union is not a cube of sugar that anybody can just think of dissolving at his/her will. The Union is meant for the students and it should not be tampered with by any Government, Management or persons either within or outside the school.
We received the news with concerns that the Prof. Omole led administration has refused to learn from history and failed to have the right understanding of what Students unionism is. Banning or suspending Students unionism is same as making students lose their studentship and their inalienable constitutional right of freedom of association thus automatically turning the university campus to a prison yard and making it a haven for secret unions to thrive in their nefarious activities.
Beyond hypocrisy, the decision of the OAU management is barbaric and uninformed. The demands of OAU students are genuine and fundamental but the management left them unaddressed, chasing shadows. Our Union is the only symbol of our unity and anyone who obstructs our unity has murdered peace, progress and sleep AND SHALL SLEEP NO MORE! For crying out loud, since when has it become a crime for students to demand potable water, stable electricity, and good hostel accommodation which they have paid for as well as the reinstatement of their colleague that was unjustly suspended some years back?
We are using this medium to declare to OAU management that NANS South West is standing in solidarity with OAU students on their demands and on the demands we stand till they are properly addressed. For the purpose of records, we are sounding it loud and clear that if any groups of persons in the name of leaders of NANS at any level are assuring OAU management of peace where there is none or pledging to betray the genuine fight of the Students, it will be resisted vehemently. The present leadership of NANS Zone D has a zero tolerance for any Vice Chancellor, Rector or Provost who refuses to listen to the yearnings of Students and Staff , and worse still attempts to draw us back to the unprogressive era of banning Students unionism. That fashion is old, obsolete, satanic and not longer acceptable. This same OAU management militarised this same campus during the last struggle of the OAU NASU and now, it is the turn of Nigerian students. Let the management be aware that we are in a civilized society, and that a University with vision and mission is not run in this destructive way.
We hereby call on the OAU management to reverse the Draconian decisions and address the trending issues immediately. To be fore warned is to be fore armed!
Comrade Awowole Samuel (Awo Sam)
NANS ZONE D P.R.O