Thursday, 26 June 2014


All TASUED students must be allowed to write examinations

For adequate funding of public education and cancellation of outrageous fees

The students of Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ijagun Ijebu-Ode Ogun state, recently embarked on mass protest against the decision of the management to exclude over 2000 students, majority of whom are final year students, from writing the first semester examination, currently being conducted. The action of the school authorities was predicated upon the purported inability of the students to present receipts as evidence of payment of school fees to the bursary department.

TASUED, a state owned institution currently charges outrageous fees of N94, 000 for its returning students and N104, 000 for its fresh students. This is not an isolated case; killer fees are charged in virtually all the state owned institutions, including Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), where students pay as much as N170, 000! 
Curiously, many of the excluded students did pay their school fees to the designated commercial banks in Ijebu Ode, using their Automated Machine (ATM) cards, as directed. The accounts of the affected students were debited accordingly, but were not issued receipts for payment by the banks. The banks claimed they could not link up with the school’s portal, which the management had surreptitiously closed, to confirm the eligibility of the students. The students went to the bursary department to complain, but were turned back.

Frustrated by the danger of not being allowed into the examination halls, they mobilized themselves and proceeded to the Students’ Union Building (SUB), with view to getting the union leadership to intervene in their plights. Whilst the students were being addressed by the union president, an overzealous, trigger-happy campus security officer fired shot at the students, injuring many of them. Sensing a backlash from his cruel and unwarranted attack on defenseless students, the security officer ran into the campus security post. The angry students demanded he should be punished for his cruelty, but his superiors declined, and the school management looked the other way.

The students were still agitating that the man who fired the shot be punished, when the Vice Chancellor (VC), who all the while had refused all entreaties to address the students, invited a combined special force of police and soldiers, otherwise called OP Messa, to the campus. On their arrival, they started shooting sporadically, beating and brutalizing defenseless students. This led to riot by the students, and some of the institution’s properties were destroyed.

The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) totally condemns the school management’s highhandedness and its resort to brute force on defenseless students. The ERC rejects the attempt by the authorities and their cronies at the various banks to shortchange the students, due to the inefficiencies and corruption of the banks and the school.

The ERC calls on well meaning Nigerians as well as labour and including civil society organizations like NLC, TUC, JAF, and others to prevail on the state government and TASUED management to reverse this unjust policy, which currently hangs the future of over 2,000 students on the balance.  

It is not only morally reprehensible but also fraudulent for the APC government of Ibikunle Amosu and its counterparts across the southwest states, who claim to be the inheritors of Obafemi Awolowo’s philosophy of free education as a cardinal program, to now callously and unashamedly price education out the reach of the ordinary people! We recall that it was similar objectionable fees and management highhandedness that triggered the current crisis at Lagos State University (LASU).

The ERC calls on the students’ union to be seriously interested in the plight of the affected students by initiating various legitimate activities including student congresses and media campaign to mount pressure on the management. The union must however include in the demand the drastic reduction in the current outrageous fees being charged in the school.

We also call for sustained joint actions of students in all state-owned higher institutions in Ogun State against outrageous fees.
We especially call on all the staff unions of TASUED to learn from the situation in LASU where high school fees and attendant decline in student enrolment have put the job of the staff at risk and thereby support the students in the struggle against fees and exclusion from writing examination.

  • All TASUED students must be allowed to write the examination
  • Immediate withdrawal of security forces from the campus, including OP Messa.
  • No to victimization of students under any guise
  • For adequate funding of public education and cancellation of outrageous fees
  • For democratic control of all resources allocated to education and schools by elected representatives staff unions and students.

Eko John Nicholas
Education Rights Campaign (ERC)
Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State

Tuesday, 24 June 2014




We of the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) condemn in strong terms the repression of protests of the University of Abuja students held on 16th June, 2014 by security operatives and the subsequent forceful closure of the two campuses of the university. The students had turned out in large number to agitate for the resolution of the crisis between the management and of the university chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) so as to allow the conduct of examinations.

The ASUU branch of the university has commenced an indefinite strike action since June 2nd, 2014.The strike action is to protest the alleged misappropriation of funds allocated to the institution by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor James Adelabu.  ASUU UNIABUJA is also alleging that the Vice-Chancellor deliberately refused to pay their teaching, marking, supervision and professional allowances dating back to 2010! To add insults to injury, he has also refused  and neglected to pay the check-off dues of the union to them since May 2013!It is also calling for the release of the White Paper of the Visitation Panel of government to the university.

The attack on the fundamental rights of the students of UNIABUJA who hit the streets to call for end of the crisis in the university is unwarranted. It is altogether part of the deliberate and systematic militarisation of the country by the current Jonathan regime and attack on the democratic rights of the working people with impunity.

We call on the UNIABUJA management to meet the demands of the lecturers in order for the university to resume for students to sit for the examinations.

The ERC also calls for coordinated national mass actions of Nigerian students to resist the wave of fee hike as in OAU, LASU, UNIPORT and TASUED as well as solidarity protests in support of the protracted strike action of ASUP and COEASU and attacks on democratic rights as was the case in UNIABUJA.

HT Soweto
National Coordinator, ERC

Monday, 23 June 2014


                             We Support Students’ Demand for Reversal of Hiked Fees

Press Statement

The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) condemns the Authorities of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife for closing the University after students in their large numbers peacefully protested the recent astronomical increment of fees for both new and returning students.

We demand the immediate re-opening of the University and reversal of the hiked fees. We also call on the University Management not to victimize students for taking part in the peaceful protests.

This unfortunate closure was announced by the University Senate on Wednesday 18 June 2014.In accordance with a sinister agenda of the University authorities, this closure may be followed by the victimisation of student leaders and possibly an attack on the recently reinstated Students Union itself.

We believe this is one closure too many. The closure was uncalled for, despotic and vindictive. The students were peaceful and orderly and there is no evidence that a single University property was damaged during the protest.

We consider the haste at which the University Senate closed the university on the request of the Vice Chancellor as an abuse of the Senate’s powers and a sinister agenda to punish students for daring to protest Management anti-poor policies. Otherwise a reasonable University management would find all possible means to negotiate with students with a view to meeting their legitimate demands.

It is only in an undemocratic academic setting that the position of the Vice Chancellor or a seat in the University Senate confirms supreme powers on a small number of people to close the campus at will and thereby elongate the academic career of students unnecessarily. According to reports, the Vice Chancellor got the Senate to approve closure by selling a lie that students were violent. In the Vice Chancellor’s wild reckoning, the fact that students had employed the use of a gas cooker to prepare puffpuff which all protesters peacefully occupying the Senate on Wednesday 18 June 2014 ate immediately constituted “acts of violence”.

Only a completely despotic Vice Chancellor could conjure up this kind of bizarre allegation against his students. OAU students are reputed for their non-violent struggle even in the face of extreme provocations. An individual like Prof. Bamitale Omole is no doubt a threat to the University community which is built on the principles of academic freedom and everywhere he holds a responsible office.

However, this essentially is why the ERC very often argues for the involvement of elected representatives of workers and particularly in this case, students, in the Senate and other decision-making organs of the University. If students’ elected representatives were sitting in the Senate, they would have been able to refute the Vice Chancellor’s cocktail of white lies.

The students’ grouse is the astronomical hike in payable fees by the University management. According to new regime of fees announced by the University Management, fees payable by new students in the Arts/Law/Social Sciences category shot up by 322%; Clinical Sciences and Pharmacy by 267% and the Sciences 253%. For the returning students, fees were increased by over 200% to between N19,700 to above N33,700.

The ERC considers this fee hike as unacceptable and anti-poor. We stoutly believe that the fee hike is unnecessary especially coming on the heels of a N200billion intervention fund won by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) during the six-month long strike last year which is to be devoted to the upgrade of facilities in all public Universities. If there is any legitimate financial need, we expect the University management to utilize its share of the N200 billion intervention fund.

However what is at stake in the fee hike imbroglio in OAU is the question: whose responsibility is it to fund public education? In the reckoning of the OAU Vice Chancellor who is incidentally a beneficiary of free and subsidized public education, poor working class parents who are hardly able to afford three-square meals for their families should be straddled with the additional financial responsibility of funding public education. The ERC disagrees and it is clear that thousands of OAU students also disagree.

Nigeria is endowed with enormous human, material and natural resources to fund and provide free and quality education at all levels. It is the responsibility of government at all levels to mobilise these enormous resources and judiciously utilize them to fund education and other public social services and ensure a humane living standards for the populace and a future for the Nation’s youth.

However due to the highly exploitative system of capitalism which is in place in Nigeria and by extension the rapacious greed and looting of the treasury by the corrupt ruling elite, Nigeria’s enormous human and natural resources has failed to transform the lives of the mass majority of the people. Public education, health and other social services are the direct victims of this capitalist mismanagement of the Nation’s enormous potentials. It is also the reason why a majority wallow of Nigerians in poverty and hundreds of thousands of the nation’s youth are without jobs despite the ocean of wealth in which the Nation swims. 

The only solution to this distasteful state of affairs is for a mass mobilisation of the people to overthrow the corrupt capitalist ruling elite, end the exploitative system of capitalism and put in its place a democratic socialist system only under which Nigeria’s enormous resources can be democratically utilized for the needs of all.

The ERC shall continue to support the struggles of OAU students, and by extension students of other campuses, to fight obnoxious fee hikes and other exploitative and anti-poor policies of education commercialisation.

Hassan Taiwo Soweto                                          Ogundele Michael
National Coordinator                                            National Secretary
07033697259                                                         07066249160