Thursday, 15 December 2016


Press Statement

Aregbesola and Ajimobi are to be Blamed for the Crisis in LAUTECH

The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) strongly condemns last Friday’s (9th December 2016) violent attack unleashed by armed police on protesting students of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Ogbomosho.

We condemn the police for this violent attack. We demand that the police must henceforth respect students’ fundamental rights to air their grievances through peaceful demonstrations.

Many students were reportedly injured when a contingent of armed police from the Owode police station led by the DPO, Abubakar M shot teargas at them. The students were protesting the continued closure of the University for about 6 months now as a result of the inability of the two owners of the public institution – Osun and Oyo states – to fund the University adequately.

Between them, Osun state and Oyo state are owing about 20 months of subvention. At the moment, all categories of staff are being owed several backlog of salaries and allowances leading to the unions embarking on strike actions to demand adequate funding of the institution and payment of the owed salaries and allowances.

The ERC fully backs the struggle of the staff unions because it is a struggle to resist the penchant of Oyo and Osun to shirk their responsibilities towards the institution. We put the blame for the continued closure of the University on the intransigence of the anti-education governments of Oyo and Osun states.

At the same time, we share the concern and anger of students over the continued closure. Six (6) months of idleness at home is enough to spark anger among students. This is an entire six months wasted in the lives of these young people for no reason of theirs. The ERC stands with LAUTECH students and urge them to organize bigger protest and demonstrations until the demands for improved funding and re-opening of the University are met. We call on the entire students’ movement, the labour movement, civil society organizations and the general public to rise to the aid of LAUTECH staff and students by condemning the refusal of Osun and Oyo states to fulfill their responsibilities.

If there is anyone that should be blamed for the impasse in LAUTECH, it is the anti-education and anti-poor All Progressive Congress (APC) governments of Osun and Oyo states. Their pro-capitalist policies of education underfunding and commercialization is what is behind this impasse. Otherwise there should be no reason for the joint ownership of LAUTECH to generate crisis. Rather it should be an advantage  where both state governments are committed to discharging their responsibilities to public education by committing adequate resources to it.

But the track record of the Aregbesola-led Osun state government and the Ajimobi-led Oyo state government shows they are both virulently and notoriously anti-education, anti-worker and anti-poor. We therefore call for the unity of staff and students to jointly struggle to ensure that LAUTECH is funded adequately and that the University is also re-opened for academic activities to continue.



Hassan Taiwo Soweto                                               Ibikunle Omole                  
National Coordinator (07033697259)                     National Secretary

Tuesday, 22 November 2016



The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is holding a week long warning strike that started on Wednesday, November 16, over the failure of the federal government to honour its aspects of the FGN-ASUU 2009 agreement. This agreement contains a commitment of government to upwardly fund education sector and pay outstanding wages of the academic staff. The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) fully supports the consistent struggle of ASUU for the implementation of this agreement. And we hold that the failure of Buhari government to uphold the terms of this agreement shows that there is no fundamental difference between Buhari and previous regimes that have reneged on this agreement and further eroded an already rotten education system. 

Just as it was before the 2013 ASUU strike, Nigerian universities are in derelict state, with inadequacy of basic learning and teaching facilities. There are schools where students rely on tree's shades to take lectures and illustrations in Chemistry textbooks to carry out imaginary experiments. The decision of ASUU to embark on yet another strike is in fact long overdue.

It took months of strike and agitation before the Umaru Yar'adua government signed the agreement in 2009. And the ERC had correctly predicted that it would require for more organised and sustained struggle to get the terms of this agreement implemented. We are aware that declaration of warning strike is one of the traditional steps that ASUU employs before declaration of a full scale strike action. But it would take more than staying off work to compel a duplicitous government such as Buhari government to commit funds to the education sector and improvement in the conditions of service of all education workers. ASUU must be prepared to sensitise the public on the essence if her demands and its benefits for the Nigerian masses. it is through such political action that ASUU can counter potential blackmails and propaganda of the government and yet amassing public support.

Before the 2013 strike was called off, the Jonathan government was forced to release a sum of N200 billion to the university system and then reneged on its promise of upwardly releasing funds that would amount to 1.3 trillion within a period of four years. It is quite unfortunate that the application of this funding was characterised by mass scale misappropriation and fraud. And it confirms the correctness of our position in the ERC that demands for proper funding and university autonomy are not enough. ASUU must ensure that the demand for democratic management of education institutions is placed on the front burner and pursued vigorously like the other demands. In a democratically managed school, elected representatives of both academic and nonacademic staff, students and parents would be responsible for decision making on project implementation, disbursement of funds etc. This would mean that the committee charged with the management of school finances is constituted by people who report back and are responsible to their unions; this equally requires that independent staff and students' unionism is present on campuses.

For us in the ERC, we believe that alongside the demand for implementation of the FGN-ASUU 2009 agreement, ASUU must also champion the demand for independent unionism, which is a precursor to democratic management of schools and transparent utilization of funds. Over 6 student unions are currently under proscription, with several student activists suspended for their involvement in struggle of students; ASUU must seize this ongoing struggle to intervene and form a bond of solidarity with the student movement and other staff unions. As it stands, only a united struggle of education workers and students can force the Buhari government to implement the terms of the FGN-ASUU 2009 agreement and similar agreements with other staff unions.

Hassan Taiwo Soweto                                   Omole Ibukun
ERC National Coordinator                          ERC National Secretary


We of  the ERC  in strong terms condemn the illegal detainment of under- age children by Ajimobi led APC government. We therefore call for a Public Panel of Enquiry into the incidence at Isale-Oyo Community high School. NLC, TUC and Oyo State NUT must declare a 48hours mass actions across Oyo state in demand of the immediate and unconditional release of the arrested students and for immediate reversal of the satanic promotion criteria of the Oyo state Ministry of Education.

The Education Rights Campaign (ERC), Oyo state chapter, calls for the unconditional release of secondary school students arrested and currently being paraded before a state magistrate court by the Ajimobi led APC government on account of the violence reaction against the rigid promotion criteria of the Oyo state Ministry of Education for SSI and SS2 in the state. It would be recalled that the state government through his stooge- the Ministry of Education- gave an unwarranted promotion criteria for secondary school students promoting to SSI and SS2 in the state and as such deny mass of students graduation into the next class. It was observed that Secondary school students across the state reacted in anger against this rigid promotion criteria that denied them to promote to the next class. Some of them protested against their teachers and some took their protest to the streets.

However, part of these pockets of students protest against the rigid promotion criteria was the setting of a classroom ablaze by students of Isale Oyo Community High School. The subsequent arrest and detainment of these students who are not up to 18years of age is condemnable as it is capable of creating monsters out of these children of secondary schools. Instead of the illegal detainment of these children we call for a public probe into the incidence that occurred at Isale-Oyo Community High School. If the Ajimobi government is allowed to continuously detain and arraign these children in court, they may eventually become hardened criminals and monsters who will constitute more social vices in the society than before. In fact, the Ajimobi government will use the artificial crises created by his government in the Oyo state public education sector to rubber-stamp his unpopular bid to sell off public secondary schools in the state. Importantly, the right to personal dignity  of these under-aged children as enshrined in Chapter 4 of the Nigerian constitution (as amended) has been abused by the Ajimobi government. The ERC therefore feel strongly that the setting of classrooms on fire at Isale-Oyo Community High School is not merely a demonstration of a few disgruntled students and criminals. Rather, it is a product of students’ pent-up rage and frustration as a result of the various anti-student and capitalist policies of poor funding of education and systemic privatization of public secondary schools in Oyo state.

To be cleared, the ERC is not averse to any disciplinary measure against students that are allegedly involved in the dastard act of setting classrooms ablaze. However, it is our concern that such disciplinary measure which we agree is necessary to serve as a deterrent to others must have as its focus first and foremost the need to correct and rehabilitates some of these students in order to save guard the future of the state.

Unfortunately, considering the sorry state of police detentions and prisons across the country today, we are left with no option than to be worried that the arrest of these students whose ages are between 12 and 15 years old and their subsequent arraignment in court which has resulted into continuous detention of some of them at police custody could lead to the creation of more monsters and beasts in these students. Should this happens, will automatically mean a defeat of the corrective and rehabilitative purpose which should be the central motive for carrying out any disciplinary measure against any students that are culprit of these dastard acts.

Given the huge prospect for future negative implications and consequences inherent in the arrest and continuous detention of these students, ERC is quick to call on the senator Ajimobi/APC-led government in the state to consider the option to review its stance over their prosecution and  order for the immediate and unconditional release of some of the detained secondary school students with a view to set-up a democratic panel of inquiry that will have as members representatives of trade unions ( NLC, TUC , NUT, ASUU, ASUP, NASU, SSANU etc); Association like PTA, NBA, pro-working people civil society organisations as well as government functionaries should be included.

The task of this panel will be first and foremost to investigate the original cause and perpetrators of the dastard act. This will be with a view to arrive at a consensus as to the kind of disciplinary measure that will be appropriate enough to end the growing indiscipline, criminal tendencies and widespread abuse of drug among secondary school students in the state.

More importantly is the need for the state government to review its rigid stance on the newly formulated promotion policy which obviously failed to take cognizance of the poor state of public education as a result of gross underfunding and the circumstance under which the examination itself was written. As a matter of fact, we of ERC believe that, it is unfair and immoral for Senator Ajimobi-led government in the state to continue to insist on a new promotion policy which stipulate among other things that only students who score 50% in five major subjects including English or Mathematics will transit to the next class when the same Senator Ajimobi-led government like its predecessors has performed poorly in term of adequate funding of education which is the root cause of most of the crisis bedeviling education sector in the state.

It is on this basis we call on the state government to be mindful of its rigid stance on the so-called promotion policy  and immediately release all secondary school children in police custody. Should the Oyo State Government continue to insist on unleashing his neo-liberal attacks on the public education sector in the state, we of the ERC will be left with no other option than to declare a state of emergency in the Oyo state public education sector.

Except this new promotion policy is reversed, the ugly development in schools like Isale-Oyo community high school and Anglican secondary schools where classroom were set ablaze by aggrieved pupils is an indication that the new policy is capable of triggering a worse phase of social tension and unrest that is currently growing among secondary school students in the state. Again, ERC believes that no amount of military intervention and draconian measures by the Ajimobi government can curb this growing mass anger among students. At the same time, we call on the workers unions (NUT, ANCORPS) and associations like PTA in education sector to immediately convene and organize a conference of teachers, principals, parents, pupils, pro-education civil society organizations and other stakeholders in the education sector in the state to review the general situation in the public education including the controversies surrounding the new promotion policy. This is with a view to arrive at recommendations that are capable of improving the standard of public education in the state. This kind of a conference of stakeholders in education sector should be anchored on meeting the following objectives:

  1. Proper funding of education to a minimum of 26% annul budgetary allocation as stated by the UNESCO reconmmendation.
  2. Immediate payment of all outstanding salary arrears own to teachers in both primary and secondary schools in the state.
  3. Immediate reversal of the new promotion policy. It is only a qualitative and well-funded public education can make the best students schooling in Oyo state public schools.
  4. The Ajimobi government and his counterpart in Osun state must immediately resolve the crises in Ladoke Akintola University of Technology and re-open the university for immediate academic activities.
  5. All arrested and detained secondary school students must  immediately and unconditionally be released.
The Ajimobi government must consider the need to constitute a Public Panel of Enquiry that is to           include NLC, TUC , NUT, ASUU, ASUP, NASU, SSANU,ANCORPS etc and ssociation like PTA, NBA, pro-working people civil society organisations as well as government functionaries.
  1. Capital NO to selling off of public secondary schools in the state. The APC led government of Senator Ajimobi must be committed to proper funding of the education sector.
  2. For a public and democratic management of public funds and resources allocated for the management of public schools under the public control of democratically elected representatives of NLC, TUC , NUT, ASUU, ASUP, NASU, SSANU,ANCORPS and the PTA.
 Segun  Ogun                                   
Oyo state Coordinator                                                                             

Thursday, 17 November 2016


·    * Demands immediate reinstatement of the affected persons
·      *Time for staff and students unions to fight back

The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) Ondo State Chapter condemns the suspension of 25 students and 6 members of the staff of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko by the university management. The 25 students were suspended after the riot at the university which occurred on the 11th day of April, 2016. 

It can be recalled that the students of AAUA protested the death of one of their colleagues who was knocked down by a vehicle. It was reported that the student’s death was as a result of the delay caused by the university’s health center to send Ambulance to convey the affected student. Hence, she was deprived of immediate medical attention. The management’s response to the protest which later turned into riot was the closure of the university for months

As condition for reopening the school students were directed to pay a whopping sum of N25,000 each before it was reduced to N15,000 after a series of consultation as a reparation fee. Not only limited to this, on the 6th of May, the management of the institution published a list of 25 students who were suspended indefinitely as an aftermath of the protest. 

Aside this, our attention has also been drawn towards the suspension of 6 members of the AAUA staff which included the ASUU chairman, Sola Fayose,  by the same university management on the 26th of October, 2016 just after the 3 months strike of the staff union. As reported by The Nation newspaper on November 3, the management claimed to have suspended the staff members in order to restore sanity to the institution as they (6 members of the staff) are found guilty of “indiscipline”.


Consequent upon this background, ERC propose these questions and demand answers from the university management;
1.       Is it against the University rules for student to demand a better output from the university health center?
2.       Are the 25 suspended students the only people who participated in the protest?
3.       Why are the suspended students not invited for fair-hearing as it is the very first step before any other action?
4.       Did students really destroy properties worth over N300,000,000 (N15,000 estimated for 20,000 students) ?
5.       If the suspension of the 6 members of the staff (ASUU chairman inclusive) is not to divide the staff union, why has it come immediately after the strike of the staff union?
6.       Why were the affected members of the staff not invited to a panel before such decision was made?
7.       Why has the suspension hammered on the leadership of the union who just led his union on a 3 months strike demanding for their rights from the management?
8.       Are only these 6 members of the staff involved in the said “indiscipline? If yes, where is the report from an investigating panel?


While we await a response from the Ajibefun’s led AAUA management, it is imperative to clear the illusion that the management of the institution has designed for the whole Akungba community. The management of the institution as well as the Ondo state government under the governorship of Olusegun Mimiko, a one-time senate president of Obafemi Awolowo University has colluded to eliminate the obstacles against their profit-minded running of the institution. No wonder a whopping N300,000,000 was criminally realized from the students when the damaged properties cannot be worth more than N3,000,000.

While the demand of the recent ASUU strike for payment of 3 month salaries arrears and 7-months deduction, was not met, the chairman of ASUU was suspended after tricking the staff unions to resume. It is more than clear at this stage that the Memorandum of Understanding issued by the management is not unconnected with their attempt to silence the union through the suspension of their leaders, thereby shutting the staff union. We however condemn this action of the university management and charge the staff union never to accept such victimization. 

Also, events have vividly shown that the suspended students are radical students’ activists that have, for long, demanded a better living and learning conditions from the management. Even though some of the suspended students were not in school environment at the time of protest, the anti-students management seizes that opportunity to implement its autocratic decision without inviting the students to any panel for fair hearing.

Given the foregoing, we hereby call on the staff and students union to jointly resist the victimization on their leaders and colleagues through organized mass rallies, pickets, press statements, and lecture boycotts to demand for the immediate reinstatement of the affected workers and students

These and many more policies are characteristic of pro-capitalist government and undemocratic university management. That is why ERC is calling on workers and students, in addition to struggle for improvement and against attacks, to join us in building a mass-based political movement on a socialist basis in a view to overthrow the capitalist and replace it with a government of the millions and not the millionaire robbers. It is until education is adequately funded and democratically run and the system of government is mass based that the fundamental problems facing Nigerian education can be totally eliminated.

Owoyomi Damilola Owot
Ondo State ERC Coordinator