ANSA Condemns OAU SU Leaders' Call To Cease NANS Intervention
The Alliance of Nigerian Students against Neo-Liberal Attacks (ANSA) has condemned the decision of the suspended Union leadership of Obafemi Awolowo University to call for a halt of the proposed NANS intervention on ravaging issues affecting students of OAU, thus described it as an 'historic sabotage'.
In a Press Conference organized by members of ANSA which held on Wednesday, 3rd February 2016 at Awolowo Hall cafe, the Pro-tem Convener of ANSA, Wole Olubanji a.k.a Engels alongside other members of the Group addressed several deepening crises facing students and other members of the University community.
The Group highlighted the turns of events since the increment in school fees in May, 2014 and the aftermath effects.
"You will easily recall that in May 2014, the university authority made public its intention to increase the fee regime of both fresh and returning students of this citadel of learning. The argument of the authority for this cataclysmic hike was her desire to “improve” learning and living facilities on campus. In adjudging whether the authority was sincere with the aim of the increment, please take a look at the toilets and bathrooms of OAU halls – which have attracted public debates on account of their poor state. Fee increment has failed! And this is only a confirmation of the position of some of us in the leadership of ANSA back then, in our various capacities as leaders of left organisations, that the cowardly philosophy of administration to always resort to fee hike is impractical as far as the problems with the education sectors are concerned." Wole said.
Another high point of concern for ANSA is the current suspension of the OAU Student Union activities and the suspension of the Union officers trio of Omotayo Akande a.k.a TY, Oketooto Oluwaseun a.k.a Hon. Seun and Ojedokun Emmanuel a.k.a Immanuel Kant. ANSA condemned the suspensions and stated that they are opposed to it, as such, members of ANSA are going to take up campaign for the reinstatement of the union leadership.
ANSA however condemned what it described as an historic sabotage on the part of the Union leadership for recalling the intervention of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Zone-D even though ANSA expresses worries over the structure of NANS itself.
"In supporting the intervention of NANS, we were not blind to the history and track-records of NANS, which in recent times are nauseating facts. However, we are also aware that the same body has had history of vibrancy and victories against the tyranny of military dictatorship. We are therefore not mechanical with our approach to history.
"In our first encounter with the leadership of NANS, we made it abundantly clear that any form of intervention on OAU campus must be preceded by a Congressional deliberation and decision of OAU students. The leadership agreed with us on convening a Congress, and this discussion was held at the instance of the leadership of the Students’ Union, including the President. More so the opinion of the meeting was that the problem on campus goes beyond the question of reinstatement of union leaders – the independence of the union must however be asserted. And convening a Congress at this point would bring to naught the so-called suspension of union activities. Everyone, including the leadership of the Union, appeared to have shared this line of reasoning, until a late minute vacillation by the union leadership.
"We have already condemned the decision of the Union leadership that called for a halt of the proposed NANS intervention. But we wish to restate it here again that the decision of the leadership to halt the movement of NANS was a historic sabotage, and condemnable. The leadership claimed that its vacillation was based on its choice of diplomacy, and the spontaneity of NANS intervention. This excuse is flimsy. A movement that had agreed to calling a Congress before action cannot be described as spontaneous. And we wish the leadership had had less absurd excuse to disguise this show of cowardice."