Tuesday, 15 July 2014



Ogun state has had its own fair share of the wave of the neo-liberal attacks on education currently raging across the country especially among the states controlled by the opposition All Progressives’ Congress (APC) which deceitfully prides itself as an assemblage of disciples of Obafemi Awolowo welfarist philosophy.  

According to a leaflet produced by the National Association of Nigerian Students, Ogun State Axis Joint Campuses’ Committee (JCC), the neo-liberal policies of Governor Ibikunle Amosun regime on education in the state has led to increase in the number of indigent students who drop out of school based on the failure to pay fees. For instance, the astronomical increase of fees in Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta from the old fee regime of N44, 800 to N62,300  with an obnoxious Acceptance Fee of N25, 500 has led to migration of full-time students to part-time because they were unable to pay the tuition fees as at the deadline

The most outrageous fee regime is in Olabisi Onabanjo University where there was a fee increment from N82,000 for Arts and Social Sciences students to N140,000 and N150,000  respectively with N40,000 acceptance fee. The Law students in the university currently pay as high as N172,000 while Medical students pay N250,000 and  Pharmacy students,N205,000. A renewed mood of resistance against the fee hike is developing among the radical layers within the students, given the inspiration from the Lagos State University (LASU) students’ struggle in Lagos State.

In Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ijebu-Ode, fees have equally been increased from N53, 750 to N88, 750 with a criminal acceptance fees of N30,000.TASUED students who are unable to meet up with the payment of the new fees are currently facing the danger of the termination of their academic career having been prevented to  write examinations. While struggle have broken out on these issues on the campus, the management is enjoying breathing space through the shield provided by the students’ union leadership  from the anger of students.

The same is reflecting in Tai Solarin College of Education, Omu-Ijebu where fees have been increased from N36,700 to N40, 850 with acceptance fee at N11,000..Ogun State College of Technology charges N99,000 as against the former regime of N76,000 with acceptance fee of N25,000.

The state owned DS-ICT in Itori charges N74,000 as against N64,000 with acceptance fee at N15,000. Gateway Polytechnic, Saapade charges N80,000 as against the former regime of N65,000 with acceptance fee of N20,000.Ogun State Cooperative College, Ijeja charges N35,000 as new tuition fees as against N28,000 with acceptance fee of N10, 000.Ogun State Institute of Technology, Ijeja charges N65,000 as new tuition fees as against the former fee regime of   N35,000 and acceptance fee of N20,000. 

To add insult upon injury, these state-owned tertiary institutions makes “tax clearance” of N10,000 mandatory on all freshers in Ogun state. Just like the acceptance fees the “tax clearance” charge is unacceptable as it is only a means of extorting fresh students who have just got admitted to the institutions.

Unfortunately, the local Students’ Unions in these institutions mostly play the role of applying the brakes to the mass radicalization among students. While the NANS JCC in the state has commendably issued leaflet that highlights the outrageous fees they have not been able mobilize mass of students around it and lead a united struggle.  It is only the unrelenting struggle of the mass of students with support of education workers and working people in general that can force the Amosun regime to concede to the 50 percent fee reduction across campuses as being canvassed by the Ogun  State JCC as shown in the case of LASU.

The staff unions in all the tertiary institutions in the state should support the struggle and agitation against fees as decline in student enrollment as a result of inability to pay fees will also put their own jobs on the line as shown in the case LASU. 

The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) in Ogun State will intervene in all of the resistance struggles of students against these obnoxious policies with the aim of arming the best minds of the radical layers of students with the clear perspectives and methods of struggle. This is also linked to the question of a genuine political alternative which can utilize the vast resources of the state to meet the urgent need of free education. The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) is an initiative supported by the ERC in providing the much-needed independent political voice for workers, students and youth. 

Ayo Ademiluyi

Education Rights Campaign (ERC), Ogun State



On 7th July, 2014, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), South-West Zone, convened a Congress, which discussed and resolved on the education crisis viz. – wave of fee hike, ASUP and COEASU strike, proscription of Unions etc. – facing the zone especially. Members of the Education Rights Campaign and the Democratic Socialist movement intervened in this congress.

The Congress was held at the Polytechnic Ibadan and moderated by the NANS Zone-D coordinator, Ashefon Sunday. Reports of Joint Campus Committees (JCCs), Fee Hike and ASUP and COEASU struggle formed major sections of the agenda and deliberation. 

Giving the report for the Osun JCC, Awo Sam, the Osun-State JCC Chairman, reported that the State-owned tertiary institutions are currently on strike in the State. He remarked that the JCC had organised solidarity protest in support of the striking teachers and is willing to organise further actions. “OAU too is currently battling fee hikes and the university has been closed down”, he continued. In Federal Polytechnic, Ede, he reported that discussion is ongoing with the management of the institution to unban the Students’ Union activities of the institution. 

A cross section of student activists at NANS Zone D Congress
Reports from Ekiti and Oyo axes proclaimed that the States are peaceful. But a student from Ekiti objected that the students of the Ekiti State University are under heavy attacks of fraudulent increment in charges. While reacting, the Coordinator, who is a student of the university, explained that the tuition fee is N50, 000, but there are some other charges which equal the tuition. Further reports from Ogun revealed that great effort was being committed to fighting a war of NANS factions as fee hikes in TASUED, OOU etc. meets no organised resistance of the axis. Reports from Ondo and Lagos were not taken because delegates from these states arrived late.

The reports from the JCC structures of the NANS Zone-D reveal a common trend of attack against Nigerian Students, with the especial coefficients of fee hikes, union proscription and closure of schools – either arising from staff unions’ struggle or management high-handedness. However, it is unfortunate that no space was given for comments on the reports of these branches, which could have provided for correction on methods and proffered organised response. 

Before the Congress commenced, members of the ERC had circulated copies of the ERC’s open letter to NANS Zone-D leadership, which contained our demand for a day of lecture boycott and organised actions to generally address the various education crisis confronting Nigerian students. The ERC banner was also raised at the Congress with a bold inscription which reads “NO TO HIKE IN FEES”. Seven copies of the Socialist Democracy (SD) were also sold at the congress.

This intervention of the ERC clearly influenced the deliberation of the Congress. While deliberating on “Wave of fee hike” and “the ASUP and COEASU strikes”, a preponderant adoption of the positions of the ERC was reflected. Student leaders generally demanded organised lines of action under the banner of the NANS zone-D. Com. Juwon, a Student activist from Obafemi Awolowo University, submitted that the Congress should set up an Action Committee to organise and mobilise for lines of actions, such as Media campaigns, mass leafleteering and rallies in major cities. He also proposed that the Congress issued a Seven Day ultimatum to the management of Obafemi Awolowo University to immediately reopen the school and reverse the hike fees. These proposals were eventually adopted by the Congress. While contributing on this matter, Wole Engels, the National Mobilisation Officer of the ERC, emphasised that the wave of fee hike is an organised policy of government to commercialise education and put it out of the reach of the masses, and as such it demands an organised response. “This Congress needs to urgently declare a day of lecture boycott to kick start all outlined actions and to make it more effective”, he continued. 

 Other submissions on the ASUP and COEASU strikes posited that the issue be linked to the proposed lines of action and solidarity for the striking unions should form part of the zone’s demands. But a man who identified himself as the Chief of Staff to the NANS President, JideWolimoh, objected and instead posited that the Congress should simply refer the matter to Yinka Gbadebo, aka: Ayefele, NANS President and “I am sure he will take it up”. 

To round off the congress, the Coordinator invited aspirants for the national offices of NANS in the forthcoming convention of NANS to address the congress. The congress ended with resolutions which outlined actions and set up an Action Committee to implement the decisions of the congress. Com. Wole Engels was nominated to be a member of this committee representing the Osun State axis. 

As usual in recent times, the Congress brought to light again the great degeneracy in NANS and equally reflects the role of radical organisations like the ERC can play in mounting pressure of students it, through education of rank and file students, to be a fighting instrument of Nigerian students.

Wole Olubanji (Engels),
National Mobilisation Officer of the ERC

Monday, 14 July 2014

Victory at Last for Ex-UNILORIN Student Activist after 15 years

ERC Welcomes the Supreme Court Judgment  

Press Statement

The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) welcomes the judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria delivered by Justice Mary Odili which on July 11, 2014 ordered the management of University of Ilorin to forthwith release the final statement of results of Comrade Lanre Akinola and pay him damages as awarded by the lower courts.

The university challenged the June 8 2007 ruling of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin which had upheld the judgment of the Federal High Court Ilorin delivered by Late Justice Chukwura Nnamani on June 21, 2006 in favour of the former student activist.

Lanre Akinola, a leading member of Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) and (ERC) has completed his academic program for the award of Bachelor of Science in Statistics since 1999 but his final year results were withheld by the management of UNILORIN for his leading role in a protest of students for an improved welfare condition on the campus in 1998 and defence of rights and interests of students in general  

The apex court has earlier on June 6 given the same order against the university in a related case involving Rasheedat Adesina, a former Assistant General Secretary of the university Students Union and currently the Assistant Secretary of Joint Action Front (JAF). Rasheedat has completed her studies for the award of degree in Industrial Chemistry since 2001.

The university under the administration of Prof Shuaib Oba AbdulRaheem witnessed vicious attacks on the democratic rights of students and staffs, especially members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).  Most of these attacks were challenged by the victims in courts, and university utilized the resources of the university to purse the legal warfare against activists to the apex court after losing at the lower courts.

We recall the victory of the 49 academics sacked by the university at the Supreme Court. Also, one of the highlights of administration of Prof. AbdulRaheem was the callous detention of some student activists at Oke-Kura Prison Ilorin for about 3 months over a protest against hike in school fees by the university in 1999.


Great commendation must be given to Messers Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika and Adeniyi Adewumi of the law firm Citipoint Chambers for their selfless free legal representation for the former student leaders.

Equally, strong commendation must be given to the DSM, which Lanre Akinola belongs to and genuine progressive forces including the ASUU who stood tenaciously in support of the formers student leaders. We of the ERC are proud to equally share in this victory based on our consistent campaign on behalf of these student leaders and democratic rights of education workers and students in general.

However, there is no other time than now to build a wider mass movement against the repression of democratic rights of students and education workers in the wake of fresh wave of fee hike and introduction of tuition. The ERC would play a serious role in linking fresh struggle in defence of democratic rights of students and s breaking out on campuses nationally into a nationwide struggle against commercialization of education and repression of students rights.

HT Soweto

National Coordinator



Thursday, 10 July 2014



George 'Yemi Iwilade Afrika
Today July 10 is exactly 15 years since a young student of law and former Secretary- General of Great Ife Students’ Union, George Akinyemi Iwilade (aka Afrika) was assassinated in cold blood by campus cult members at Obafemi Awolowo University Ile Ife. Worrisome controversies followed the death of Afrika, especially the indictment of the Vice-Chancellor at that time, Prof. Wale Omole, as mastermind of the attack. Fifteen years after, typical of the judicial culture of our country, the people in high places indicted in this saga have not reached the dock; instead, some of them occupy new positions of reverence and authority.

Students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife still remember Afrika as a martyred icon of pro-masses education policies, aside being saddened by the silence of his case. Professor Wale Omole, may be heavily indicted, of course he has not been convicted, but is equally not known to be friendly to pro-masses education policies. For instance in 1999, Omole angered students of Obafemi Awolowo University with an astronomic increment of fees, which raised charges from N1, 250 to N10, 250 – an event that brought Afrika and other Students’ Union leaders in confrontation with the Professor Omole led University Administration.  Afrika and Lanre Legacy, the then President of the Students’ Union, with other 5 activists were detained for about two weeks at Panti Yaba police station over the protest held in Lagos against the  fee hike.  Victory was recorded for the students as their conscious actions forced the university administration to reverse its policy. Appreciably today, OAU students still make reference to the motivating symbol of Afrika in their struggle against fee hike and cult activities.

The students of OAU still widely parade their campus as intolerant of cult related activities. Hooliganism and bullying are strongly penalized and reprimanded in the community of students. This is indeed a significant gain, and hard lesson, derived from the horrible events of July 10, 1999 – a day when armed Cultist evaded the campus and murdered 5 five students, including Afrika.

The serene conditions of OAU may not be under cult threat because of the lessons of 1999, but clearly, the university is now always under constant attacks of fee hike. In 2011 for instance, the university increased acceptance fee from N2, 000 to N20, 000, only the fresh students were affected and the university merely closed the school when students questioned the increment. This time around, barely 2 months ago, the management of OAU, led by Prof. Tale Omole – who shares similar last name, and probably, similar policies with Wale Omole, V.C during the 1999 massacre – increased the Students’ fees. Under the new regime of fees, fresh students from the humanities, Sciences, and health sciences are to pay N81, 700, N92, 700 and 95, 700 respectively in their various faculties. Fresh students were not the only one to be battered by these outrageous, astronomic hikes, returning students also had substantial amounts added to their fees.

It is commendable that 15 years after the gruesome murder of students’ leaders like Afrika, the culture of resistance against anti-students policies has remained strong and unyielding. The students of Obafemi Awolowo University boldly protested the hike, demand its reversal and seek explanations on the revenues and expenditures of the institution. The Vice-Chancellor only answered these fundamentally important questions by shutting the university, based on trumped-up charges.

Obviously it is not only the tradition of intellectual and courageous resistance that have not left OAU students, practices of undemocratic tendency, inconsideration and military repression have also not left the OAU administration too. Professor Tale Omole recent decision to shut down the institution over Students’ protest and subsequent deployment of armed security men to enforce this order is an instance. Dissenting opinions and ideas should not be discouraged, or criminalized, in any society. But closure of school because of students’ protest is an attack on freedom of thoughts and expression, and it is equally characteristic of a military regime. In fact Nigerians must condemn it outright because such measures threaten democratic advancement of any society, especially if they are institutionalized in a university that ought to prescribe those democratic ideals.

From 1999 to date, the conspiracy of university echelons and governments, against Nigerian students and poor parents has waxed stronger. Vice-Chancellors are diligently installed by governments, with corresponding University councils and Senates, to skillfully implement cut-throat policies of education commercialisation, aka: Fee hike. In most cases, embittered students react, government goes criminally deaf and their agents in our varsities quickly clean the mess; sometimes repress this students’ resistance.

If Afrika were to be remembered by Nigerian students, some things which he spent his days representing and defending – rights of the poor to access education as the rich does – must also be pondered. It is simple: in a country as wealthy as Nigeria, substantial commitment of our nation’s wealth to education would lift out the sector from its current state of barbarism and equally unburden the Nigerian working people. With the current political culture of impunity – which encourages gravely looting of our vast resources or mysterious disappearances of our national wealth, and commandeered by vicious circus of elitist politicians – proper funding of education will surely be the last thing on the list. Only the people can remind our elitist leaders their responsibilities through organised agitations and protest actions as this as proven the only effective way to actually win substantial funds for education and end this insanity of fee hike.

At this sober moment, Nigerian students must unite against this monster of fee hike. The National Association of Nigerian Students must rise to this occasion and practically defend the interest of Nigerian students to access quality, free education. The spontaneous struggles breaking out independently in LASU and OAU as well as other schools must be aggregated and given an organised voice. Fee hike, closure of schools and incessant strikes can be classified as threat to the interest of students and must be equally combatted by NANS.

Although George Akinyemi Iwilade might have been assassinated, but the ideas he represented will live longer than expected. And today, Nigerian students stand motivated by the courageous actions and leadership of Yemi Iwilade. This moment provides the appropriate opportunity to demand that the killers of Ife 5 be brought to book. More importantly, it emphases a new re-commitment to, and reflections on the state of the student movement and the numerous attacks Nigerian students face.

Wole Olubanji,
National Mobilisation Officer of Education Rights Campaign (ERC) and a philosophy student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.