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

Thursday, 3 November 2016


*  Calls for steadfastness until victory is achieved
*  Demands the intervention of the Federal Government for proper auditing
*Calls for the solidarity support of the Students’ Union and other sister unions
The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) Ondo State Chapter supports the ongoing strike and protest at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) by the members of the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) against the corruption and various anti-worker policies of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Gregory Adebiyi Daramola and Bursar, Emmanuel Oresegun of the institution.
The protest started on Thursday 6th of October after the VC and Bursar of the institution were invited by the EFCC on Tuesday4th of October following the fraud and corruption allegations leveled  against them by the Staff Unions which include, but not limited to the refusal to pay their long-term allowances. The Staff Unions are  calling for the removal of the V.C. with immediate effect and that the Federal Government set up a panel to audit FUTA account.
According to the Staff Unions, the VC, together with the Bursar has continued to siphon and fritter away the treasury of the university on frivolous gifts and fraudulent transactions including allowances made to the Governing Council members, inflation of properties cost, illegal duty traveling allowances and diversion of intervention funds.
 The petition to the EFCC contains documents showing the various financial misappropriation by the VC. As reported by Sahara Reporters, the contents of the document are;
1.      Misapplication of personnel cost allocation amounting to N13,324,012
2.      Housing allowance paid to the VC while in government house - N3,851,730
3.      Use of public funds to finance private expenses – N4,147,000
4.      Irregular payment of allowance to council members – N1,500,000
5.      Excessive cash advance amounting to N8,882,540
6.      Direct procurement of motor vehicle without approval/waiver from BPP – N78,450,750
7.      Transfer of fund for fixed deposit – N100,000,000
To us in the ERC, this is not the first time that a University management will be alleged of siphoning the institution’s treasury thereby depriving the staff unions of their allowances and financial entitlements. In fact, corruption has become a norm in the University system and in the managements of other academic institutions. Just recently, workers at the Obafemi Awolwo University had to down tools and protest for similar reasons. The ERC considers corruption as an obstacle towards the development of public education in the nation which must be eradicated not only in FUTA but in every other tertiary institutions nationwide. This is why we campaign for democratic running of Universities and other academic institutions through the involvement of elected representatives of students and staff in their decision-making organs.
Hence, ERC calls on the protesting Unions never too relent halfway but continue with their struggle “uncompromised” until all their demands are met.We also challenge the FUTA Students’ Union led by Olusegun Oladele Solar to support the struggle of the staff unions and use it as an avenue to demand a better learning and welfare conditions for the students of the institution and also to ensure that the demands of the Staff unions are adequately met. Students must also be involved in the struggle to ensure that the needs of the Staff unions are met immediately so that the school can resume as soon as possible. At the same time, we call on the other sister unions to start their solidarity support for the affected Unions as one tree cannot make a forest.
While the on-going strike and protest can be vital in compelling the federal government to take some steps and the anti-corruption agencies to diligently probe the allegations against the FUTA administrations, workers must not for a minute believe the illusion that any capitalist government can be seriously interested in ridding the education sector and society of corruption. It is only the collective vigilance of workers and students and their preparedness to take political actions linked with a campaign for democratic running of schools that can begin to tackle the crisis of mismanagement and corruption which is strangling the education sector.
To this extent,. the ERC hereby calls on the national bodies of staff unions to start the process of naming a day for a nationwide strike and protest to demand transparent and democratic management of various tertiary institutions amidst other demands like free, functional and democratically managed education sector, proper funding of public education, , rejection of half salaries and better welfare conditions in the various institutions.
While we continue to demand a better standard of living under this government, it is imperative on staff unions and the wider labour movement to start building a mass workers’ political alternative for the purpose of taking political power, ending capitalism and putting in place a democratic government of workers and poor masses which can through socialist policies bring a permanent long-lasting solution to the fundamental problems facing the workers and public education. It is until the commanding heights of the economy are placed under the democratic control and management of the working people that the problem of fraud and corruption can be permanently eradicated within society as whole and also in the education sector.

Owoyomi Damilola Owot
Ondo State Coordinator
Education Rights Campaign (ERC)