We of the Education Rights Campaign (ERC), FCT, Abuja chapter write to condemn the rustication of Student activists at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile Ife and the University of Lagos (UNILAG). We also condemn the ban of independent students’ unionism at the University of Abuja.
We extend solidarity to students in OAU and students activists in UNILAG who are currently being victimized by university managements and we also call for the lifting of the ban placed on students union activities at the University of Abuja.
At the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Omole Ibukun (the secretary of the campus ERC branch) was recently penalized for allegedly criticizing the University’s anti-poor policies on facebook. His eportal page was deactivated rendering him incapable of registering his courses online. It took widespread criticism of the Management’s actions and the threat of protest and lecture boycott for the authorities to agree to open his eportal page early in the week. Also in the same institution, Olawale Ogunruku has been under victimization for years now while at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Adeyeye Femi, a student activist and 11 leaders of the University of Lagos Students Union (ULSU) have been rusticated for their roles in the students’ protest in April against poor welfare conditions.
We in Education Rights Campaign, FCT, Abuja Chapter strongly condemn these despotic violation of human rights being perpetrated by the management of these institutions. We demand the immediate reinstatement of the rusticated student’s activists and unconditional withdrawal of the trumped up charges and also we call on the authorities of the University of Abuja to immediately lift the ban on the students union.
In the final analysis, these actions are meant to cow students and scare them from campaigning for better funding of education and provision of adequate facilities for learning. We therefore call on the entire human rights community, Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU), other staff unions on campuses, the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and the Nigerian students in general to intervene and call for an end to these attacks on democratic rights and baseless accusations routinely formed against students’ activists, for they are attempts to weaken the strength of the students movement.
ERC FCT, ABUJA Chapter