The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) University of Lagos (UNILAG) branch write to bring the attention of the public and the entire mass of the students population to an attempt to unjustly victimize student leaders and activists for participating in a peaceful protest against poor welfare conditions.
Recently, the university management set up a panel called "SPECIAL SENATE DISCIPLINARY PANEL ON THE RECENT STUDENTS PROTEST". Several students leaders and activists were invited to face the panel without being told their offense so as to enable them prepare their defense. This manner and nature of invitation clearly shows that the Prof Rahman Bello led administration is up to something fishy. Some of the students invited to face the panel are: Afolabi Emmanuel (Faculty of Arts), Ilesanmi Samson (Faculty of Arts), Adebayo Emmanuel (Faculty of Sciences), Muhammad Olaniyan - President, University of Lagos Students Union (UNILAG) amongst others.
The Education Rights Campaign(ERC) strongly condemn this despotic violation of human rights being perpetrated by the university management against UNILAG students. We demand a halt to the attempt to victimize the students leaders and withdrawal of the trumped up charges. We also demand restoration of the Students Union and respect of students’ democratic right to freedom of association and expression.
It will be recalled that the students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) went on protest on the 6th and 7th of April 2016 to protest against hike in prices of commodities on campus, epileptic power supply despite the use of diesel powered generators, lack of sachet water, lack of regular and portable water supply, non-availability of adequate bed spaces, amongst other welfare and academic issues. It is no news that the management blackmailed these legitimate demands of students and as was expected, it led to the undemocratic suspension of the union (ULSU) and the enslavement warrant called undertaking and indemnity form which students were forced to sign before they gained entrance into examination halls and halls of residence. Uptill now, none of the issues for which students protested have been resolved.
It is unfortunate that despite all of this injustice already perpetrated against UNILAG students, the management has again concluded plans to further punish and victimize students leaders and activists that participated in the peaceful protest. It is regrettable that the alleged accusations against this students leaders are laughable and baseless.
In a letter addressed to one of the student leaders by the university management as a reply to his letter asking for the reason for which he was invited to face the disciplinary panel, it is laughable that the university management will invite a student to face a panel for declaring a protest that was not approved by the congress. The congress in question is up till now yet to be inaugurated by the VC.
We in the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) view all of these as executive rascality and a reckless and arbitrary display of power. This clearly shows that the university management led by Prof Rahman Bello is incapable of heading a citadel of learning. Given his undemocratic and despotic inclinations, he is best suited for the military.
Hence, the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) calls on ASUU, SSANU, NASU, the NLC and the entire students population to intervene against this injustice meted to UNILAG students. We also bring the attention of concerned individuals, human rights activists to this apparent disregard for human rights and untold victimization that the students are forced to suffer. While UNILAG prides itself as the university of first choice, the University is in decay and nothing to write home about. Several atrocities and abuses of human rights are currently going on in the university under the watch of the vice chancellor, Prof. Rahman Bello.
ERC UNILAG Branch coordinator
ERC UNILAG Branch coordinator