Tuesday 31 May 2016

ERC Condemns Fuel Price Hike Protest's Call-off by NANS Zone D

Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Branch
                                PRESS STATEMENT


It would be recalled that a congress was convened by the Nans Zone D on May 16, 2016 where south west students gathered to deliberate on the recent anti-masses position taken by the Federal Government on the removal of the fuel subsidy. The congress was welcomed by the students with the intention that it would provide an avenue for students to make their positions known on the current economic challenges of the country. This position of calling for a congress by the leadership was borne out of the Zone’s claim to be the ideological and radical zone of the umbrella body of NANS. The agenda of the congress which captured not only the question of subsidy removal but also was extended to the deliberation on campus crises review, state of the nation amongst other pressing issues. We wish to point it clear that the resolution of the congress on the removal of the subsidy is the total reversal of the N145 announced by the federal government to the status quo of N86.50k.

We are neither surprised by the overnight compromise on the resolution of the congress by the leadership of NANS Zone D. It is not only safe but safer to conclude that NANS ZONE D has further justified our position on NANS being a degenerated platform that can no longer represent the genuine interest of Nigerian Students. This action likewise is an insult on the intellectuality of Nigerian students.

Giving a clarity on the unprincipled division within the ZONE D also, it was obvious that the platform has sold the interest of Nigerian students for pecuniary gains, the Coordinator- Ogunsola Okikiola, the General Secretary- Oloja Olanrewaju, the Public Relations Officer (PRO)- Awowole Samuel (AWO SAM) are the principal betrayers in this regard. The other executives of the Zone especially the Deputy coordinator in person of Afolabi Saheed (Seedorf) kicked against the Zone D leadership position by stating clearly that the congressional resolution on resistance to the fuel price hike must still be implemented. This was practicalized by calling and embarking on a protest in Ile-Ife, Osun State on 24th of May, 2016 (Tuesday). The Deputy Coordinator by this action claimed to be a respecter of the congress of the students. But to our utmost discontent, after the protest, the position was on the contrary by settling for palliative measures; a conditional acceptance of the increase in fuel price. In this manner, it reveals that the entire Zone D has totally reneged on the resolution of the congress and capitulated to the side of the Federal Government. This action must be condemned by all Nigerian students especially the south west students because the question of considering palliative measures was never part of resolution of the congress. It is therefore treacherous, that the leadership which claims to resist to the last the policy of the Federal Government has absolutely conceded to the position of the Federal Government.

It is our stance that no amount of palliative measures will cushion the colossal negative effects of the subsidy removal. This is not the first time in the history of the country that the argument of palliative measures would be adduced. Subsidy and Reinvestment Empowerment Program (SURE-P) introduced by Goodluck Jonathan administration was just an example of the treachery and ineffectiveness of this hollow phrase of palliative measures. Stating the obvious, the Buhari administration cannot demonstrate any fundamental difference from his predecessor-Goodluck Jonathan since they both operate the same economic system of capitalism.

Once again, the ERC condemns, in strong polemics this anti-students’ position of NANS ZONE D LEADERSHIP. We hereby call on all Students’ Unions comprising of Southwest Zone not only to dissociate themselves from this perfidy but likewise join forces with the ERC to practically oppose the increase in fuel price and all other anti-students’ policies of the ruling parties, while calling for the building of more functioning refineries and for the nationalization of the oil sector, power sector and other commanding heights of the economy under the democratic control and management by the working people.


Adabale Olamide (Coordinator)

Omole Ibukun (Secretary)

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