STOP VICTIMIZING NIGERIAN STUDENTS AND THEIR UNIONS! being a press text of the Socialist Youth League (SYL).
“In a battle between the oppressed and the oppressor; the latter laughs first while the former laughs last.”
The OAU management is employing vicious force in various manners to impose the heinous fees increment on students. The workers and students unions leadership are being infiltrated and gagged through liberal truce and divide-and-rule tactics. Unfortunately, liberal and fearful characters compose these leadership at this point in history. But there is still a mass discontent amidst the mass of students and workers on the campus. This is because many are groaning hard to afford the fees. Many students are obtaining the “leave of absence” to loose a year in search of the fees through “whatever means.” And plenty of the Jambites are opting out!
The situation at Ife is symbolic. OAU, Ife (until now) offers the cheapest yet the most quality higher education in Nigeria. As Balogun Babatunde, the immediate past Students’ Union president at the University of Ibadan, noted; “OAU is the last hope of the common man.” Students on the campus are still in shock with the ugly developments in the citadel of “learning and culture!” The secondary consequence of the imposed fees hike is that many other higher institutions will follow the Ife bad example. The Federal Poly, Ede fees hike sharply vindicates this assertion. SYL urges Great Ife students and their colleagues on campuses in Nigeria to hit the ground and running by engaging their unions and sister unions like ASUU, NASU, and SSANU in order to build a radical halt against this wicked hegemony of fees hikes. We all must not allow the kleptos in government to concede on funding (as gained through the implementation of agreements with ASUU, ASUP, COEASU), and then take back the funds through fees hikes. As a young activist insisted;”our struggles are being mocked!”
SYL however implore the students and workers to rise and resist the renewed victimisation against student activists and leaders on campuses. It is victimisation that is used to cow resistance by the managements. We must initiate new methods to advance and sophisticate our struggles.
SYL,in this vein, use this moment to commend students and their union leaders at the Olabisi Onabanjo University,Ago-Iwoye who have been fighting without wavering to reverse the fees hike on the campus. It is the fear of their collective that made the Ogun state government to reverse the earlier union banning within 48 hours. SYL urges OOUites to remain undaunted in the face of the further attacks and lies of the Amosun-led Ogun state government. Union leaders must remain steadfast and embark on massive political education and engagements of the entire studentry. Collaborations with workers’ unions and civil society should be well pursued with utmost class interest. For the confidence in leadership enhances the doggedness of the “army of courage.”
Willy nilly, we call on the OAU management and the Jonathan-led Federal government to reverse the suspension of Pele Obasa (Chocomilo); Oluwole Olubanji (Engels); Ibirogba Samuel (Sammie); Ademuwagun Johnson; Adebale Olamide; Ayowole Juwon; Nelson Ekunjimi (Mandela); Abiodun (Bimbo Anchor); and Olawale Ogunruku(who has been sent on academic exile since 2011.)
Great Ife students and workers have a political duty to fight to reverse the fees and reinstate the OAU 9.
SYL also call on the Amosun-led Ogun state goverment to immediately re-open the OOU campus and reverse the ant-working people fees ,NOW!
Students and workers in OAU and OOU should note, on a final note, that only a relentless, resolute, and principled struggles on education and other basic amenities will win us the necessary reforms we clamour for, as part of our historic marches to build a new world.
VICTORY IS SURE!
Kunle Wizeman Ajayi,