Time for a mass fightback against attack on democratic rights of workers and students by the Amosun regime
We of the Education Rights Campaign (ERC), Ogun State Chapter, condemn in the strongest terms the sack of six officials of Ogun State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, including a secondary school teacher by the Ibikunle Amosun-led Ogun State Government over an alleged offensive examination question in the English Language paper of the state’s Unified Secondary School Examination.
According to press reports, the list of those sacked includes two Grade Level 17 officers, Mrs. Folashade Oresegun, who was Director, Education Support Services, Mr. Rotimi Odunsi, who was Director, Curriculum Development and Evaluation and a Grade Level 16 Officer, Mr. Majekodunmi Oluwole. Reportedly, the list also includes a Grade 10 Level Officer, Mr. E.O Asegbe, a Grade Level 8 Officer, Taylor Damilola and an English Language teacher in Mayflower Secondary School, Ikenne, Mr.Joel Adegbenro. We also confirmed that the sacking of both Oresegun and Odunsi has been converted to compulsory retirement while the four others were summarily dismissed.
We consider the grounds upon which their appointments were terminated as highly vexatious, unscrupulous and unacceptable. We view the argument that a passage on collapse of education culled from a book used for examination of secondary school students is offensive and indicting of the state government as completely ridiculous.
We hold that the reality that the state government is running away from is its conscious neglect of education in the state and the government is merely running from its shadows. We submit that the so-called “offensive” and “inciting” passage only echoes the position of the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) in Ogun State that the Amosun regime has completely abandoned the education sector in the state. The Amosun regime has refused and neglected to release subventions to tertiary institutions for more than a year and the primary and post-primary institutions are in a state of disrepair.
We also submit that the sacking of the workers is the height of infamy by the Ibikunle Amosun regime which has continuously unleashed attacks on the democratic rights of students and workers. As we write, workers’ unions at the Tai Solarin College of Education, Omu-Ijebu are still under proscription by the state government. This is aside the ban on students’ unions in such institutions as Ogun State College of Information Technology, Igbesa.
We hold that it is high time that a mass fight-back against the attacks on democratic rights by the Amosun regime was built. We call on the two labour centres in the state, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) as well as the education workers’ unions, ASUU, SSANU, , COEASU, NUT, SSUCOEN, ASUP, SSANIP, etc. with other trade unions among others to resist these attacks. We also call on Students’ unions, the Joint Campuses’ Committee in Ogun State and the Zonal leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) to lend their voice of opposition against these attacks and mobilize for mass actions against them. An injury to one is an injury to all.
We call for a wider mobilization of students, workers and the entire working masses in Ogun State to demand the following:
1. Immediate recall of the OGUN SIX! No to victimization of workers!
2. Immediate end to proscription of staff unions in Tai Solarin College of Education, OmuIjebu! End attacks on workers’ rights!
3. Immediate release of two years’ subventions to tertiary education institutions in Ogun State! For proper funding of the education sector and democratic control of the resources in the state!
4. End to attacks on democratic rights of workers and students! Time for MASS ACTION AGAINST ATTACKS ON DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS IN OGUN STATE! Ogun State NLC and TUC with NANS Zone D/ Ogun JCC with trade and students’ unions to NAME A DAY OF MASS PROTEST!
Dare to struggle! Dare to win! We have nothing to lose but our chains!
Acting State Coordinator