Tough times for radicals at Nigerian universities.
west africa |
Tuesday May 01, 2007 18:33 by Students Union
Things are not good for radical minded ones at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. In August 2007 students were rusticated from the University for spearheading a protest held in September 2005.
Ordinarily, no one would expect that the management of the University would refer to such an event to perpetuate their evil.
But the management in her objective will to deal with people of like-minds who have "given them much problems" in order to protect the rights of students and the poor masses against exploitation, felt someone must bear some pains for their contributions to the Students' Union Movement in the University.
It must be emphasized that this is the approach the university authority has been employing to subdue the consciousness of students on the campus. Today the university is no more than a primary school where students are discouraged to do things on their own. We (members of the left) have told them times without numbers that protest,demonstration, and independent students' unionism are our right, and should not be alieniated from us. Student activists are now been expelled, rusticated, academically witch-hunted etc. for participating in students activities. It is that pathetic. Ironically in UI you will find that students who commit serious criminal offences (such as rape, murder attempt etc.) are not even given up to the "punishment" we activists are given.Their goal is clear: to demolish all possible class antagonist tendencies and instill terrible fear in students who may want to develop such.
The same acts that are crushing UI students movement have started too in the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) located in Osun State, Nigeria.
Just last month the management announced that it had proscribed the Students' Union. A statement that followed a brutal attack on the entirety of the students by the Mobile police mixed with military men to stop a peaceful student demonstration demanding a week exam date extention. Since last month the school authority had been stampeding and denying the Students' popularly elected Student's Union leadership particularly the student's Union president known as "Saburi"- Of course this has not stopped the usual radical activities of the leadership instead it had been further popularised.
The management seeing this as a great threat, resorted not only to media rhetoric of disbandment and dissolution but also selective "criminal" victimisation and witch-hunting to the extent of publicly placing a prize on the Union Executive members for their discovery. The school has promised N250,000 for anyone with vital information about these "unscrupulous elements".
The University of Ibadan case still remains. Perhaps we we can jointly organised a campaign/ rally/ syposium/ demostration/ programme for the rights to Independent Students' Union and a halt to the victimisation of our comrades, and right to free and quality education at all levels which will cut accross all of these institutions.