Sunday 25 June 2017


·        ERC Demands their Immediate Rescue
·        Calls for policies to address the social roots of kidnapping and other crimes

Press Statement

About one month ago, six secondary school students of Lagos State Model College, Igbonla-Epe were kidnapped. Uptill now, there are no news of their release despite repeated assurances from the Lagos state government and the police.

The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) Lagos State Chapter vehemently condemns the kidnap of the six students. We sympathize with the families and relatives of the victims. Their sorrow at this trying period can only be imagined. We join them to demand an immediate rescue of the six kidnapped students.

The Police and other security agencies have repeatedly given assurances that they are on top of the situation. As far as we are concerned in the ERC, the police and security agencies need to start showing result. That six kidnapped students have to stay this long in kidnappers den is itself a clear evidence that the police and other security agencies are failing in the discharge of their responsibilities.

We equally call on the Lagos state government to do everything possible to secure the rescue of the abducted students. As far as we are concerned, the constant excuses of the government for the continuous stay of the six students in kidnappers den are unacceptable. The only result we want to see is the rescue of the six students and their safe return to the arms of their families. We would like to remind the state government that one of its major responsibility as enshrined in the constitution is the safety of lives of the citizens. If those six students were to be children of politicians and highly placed individuals in society, we are sure that the state government would have been more serious in seeking their rescue. As far as we are concerned, the continuous stay of those six students in kidnappers den is a stain on the state government and its capacity to guarantee the safety of citizens.

The Epe school kidnap is however one kidnap too many. Recall that last year October 2016, an incident of this nature occurred at the same school where four (4) students and Two (2) staffs were kidnapped. This is aside many other kidnap cases around Lagos.

To find solution to this menace requires that we dig into the root of the crisis. In our view, the incessant nature of kidnapping and other forms of violent crimes is a direct consequence of the condition of youth unemployment, lack of opportunities and poverty which years of implementation of neo-liberal and anti-poor policies have created. It is therefore not a surprise that the rate of violent crimes and youth restiveness in the country has risen in tandem with the rising rate of youth unemployment over the past two years.

In Lagos in particular, just like the previous governments, the Governor Ambode-led All Progressive Congress (APC) government anti-poor policies of rendering people jobless and homeless through seizure of commercial motorcycles, confiscation of wares of petty traders and arbitrary demolition of poor people’s homes to pave way for developers are the reasons that kidnapping and other social vices are on the rise. As we have repeatedly argued, the government cannot take people’s means of livelihood and poor people’s homes without compensation and expect no backlash. Unless these anti-poor policies of government are immediately reversed and replaced with pro-people policies that create jobs and ensure that the poor and vulnerable are taken care of, it will not be possible to curb the menace of kidnapping and other social vices.

We therefore call on the state government to be socially responsible to the social needs and aspirations of the common people.  The common people also desire good housing, good health care, good and quality education system, good employment opportunities and where this is not provided, the gate would be opened for all kinds of crimes including kidnapping.

Nurudeen Omomeewa
State Coordinator
ERC Lagos

Friday 16 June 2017


Calls for improved funding of the Institution
Press Statement

It has come to our notice that following several agitations and protests by students and activists on the issues of fee hike, reinstatement of students’ union and recall of suspended students at the Yaba College of Technology, the school management has agreed to the following: (1) Reinstatement of the students union starting with a caretaker committee, (2) Reinstatement of suspended students and (3) Partial reversal of the full time students fee to N22, 500.

To start with, despite that the hiked fees were not fully reversed as demanded, nonetheless the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) Lagos welcomes these concessions which were won by struggle of students and activists. However, we are concerned that while making these concessions, the Yabatech authorities neither reduced nor reversed the fee of part-time students which was equally increased astronomically. We consider this a marginalization of the part time students who also put demands forward during the negotiations for a reversal of their hiked fees.

ERC Lagos hereby calls on the authorities of Yaba College of Technology to reverse the fee of part-time students and ensure that issues of poor welfare conditions and inadequate teaching infrastructures which affect all categories of students are immediately looked into.

We say that on no ground should the management marginalize the demands of the part time students. We believe part-timers are legitimate students with valid admission, therefore, their interest must be jealously guarded as that of the full timers. We are united by studentship and indivisible as such no one should be marginalized in the benefits of struggle. We therefore call on Yabatech students not to allow the management to divide them. They should continue to campaign through mass meetings, media, rallies and peaceful demonstrations for the fee of part-time students to be reversed and for improvement in the funding of Yabatech and its democratic management.

ERC believe public education must be properly funded by the government and democratically managed in such a way that elected representatives of students union and workers’ unions are involved in the decision making organs and the running of the school. We consider unacceptable the government anti-poor directive to management of public higher institutions to find means of raising their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in order to be able to meet the growing cost of running their schools. As far as we are concerned, public education is a constitutional responsibility of government. A responsible and pro-masses government would not shirk this responsibility or attempt to make students, either part-timers or full timers, bear the huge financial burden of funding education.

Therefore, ERC LAGOS calls for proper and adequate funding of Yabatech with immediate effect and its democratic management. However, without democratic management, corruption will thrive thus undermining the impact of funding. For instance, if the current subvention presently being received by the Yabatech is democratically managed, it could to an extent meet the cost of running the school. But this is not possible because the subvention, where not outright looted, is often mismanaged by the authorities who would prefer to waste resources on building a new Senate building and buying official cars while classrooms, laboratories and libraries desperately cry for attention.

Therefore, ERC LAGOS calls on NANS National, NANS JCC LAGOS, activists and generality of YABA TECH students, both part timers and full timers, to immediately fight for total reversal in both part time and full time fee across level and other unjust charges.  


Nurudeen Omomeewa
ERC LAGOS Coordinator.

Thursday 15 June 2017


Condemns Brutalization of Protesting Workers and students by Soldiers

Press Statement

The Education Rights Campaign (ERC), Lagos State Chapter hereby calls on the Lagos State government to quickly find a quick and amicable resolution to the ongoing strike action of workers’ unions of the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) in order to enable the long-suffering students of the institution resume their studies.

We also condemn the invitation of armed soldiers from the 174 Battalion by the rector of the institution, Mr. Samuel Sogunro, to assault the striking workers and students who had gathered at the school gate on Wednesday 7 June 2017 for a peaceful protest.  According to a report by the Nation newspaper (8/6/2017), several workers and the students who joined them in solidarity were brutalized by the rampaging soldiers on the order of the Polytechnic Rector.

ERC Lagos condemns the army for this reprehensible assault on citizen’s rights to freedom of expression and association. We urge the army to stick to its constitutional role of defending the country against external aggression and not to turn its officers into the paid thugs of despotic heads of higher institutions to assault workers and students fighting for their legitimate rights.

The three staff unions in LASPOTECH - Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) - embarked on an industrial action over non-payment of 87-month accumulated arrears of the consolidated tertiary Institutions salary structure (CONTISS) 15 migration after the expiration of a 21-day ultimatum issued to the management to pay.

As far as we are concerned, the demands of the workers unions are legitimate. This demand if met will bring enhance workers’ productivity and quality service delivery. Therefore, ERC Lagos supports the striking workers unions in LASPOTECH and urge the state government as the funding authority of the institution to immediately pay up the 87-month arrears of CONTISS 15 migration so that the workers can return to their duty posts and students can resume their studies which have been suspended since the strike started.

No doubt, Lagos is a rich state considering its huge federal allocation and the enormous Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) it gets every month. If these huge resources are democratically managed by a pro-working people government, then it would not only be possible to provide the funds required to meet the striking workers’ demands, it would also be possible to adequately fund LASPOTECH and other state-owned institutions so as to ensure decadent teaching infrastructures are improved and modernized for quality learning.

Meanwhile, ERC Lagos understands that LASPOTECH students need to return back to class as soon as possible given that they have spent a whole year for an academic session that ordinarily should not last more than 7 to 8 months. We therefore urge students to join hands with the striking staff unions in order to compel government to meet their demands. But while joining the striking workers, it is important for workers and students to use this strike as a basis to beam light on all the crises afflicting LASPOTECH with a view to calling state government attention to all these issues.

Therefore while fighting for payment of the 87-month arrears of CONTISS 15 migration, the struggle must also be used to begin to raise demands on the chronic underfunding of the institution, the high fees, victimization and attack on democratic rights as well as the terrible welfare conditions under which students study. This is the only way to ensure this struggle leads to real and substantial progress for LASPOTECH in terms of the welfare of both students and workers. We also call on members of the public is for them to solidarize with the struggle of the staff unions with demand on the state government to meet workers’ demands so that students can go resume their studies.

While we call for the solidarity of the public and students, we call on the staff unions themselves to embark on a series of activities like mass circulation of leaflets and media briefing to sensitize the public on their plights and mobilise mass support for their struggle. We also  urge them to be steadfast in the struggle and make it a mass-based one with mass meetings and congresses where decisions on tactics and strategies of the struggle are democratically taken by the mass of the workers themselves in order to avoid compromise. ERC LAGOS believes victory cometh by struggle as we reiterate our call on the state government to wake up to its responsibility and accede to the demands of the striking workers’ unions.


Nurudeen Omomeewa
ERC LAGOS Coordinator

Sunday 4 June 2017

ERC Oyo Condemns the Suspension of the University of Ibadan Students’ Union

 It is an attack on students’ democratic rights

Press Statement

  • The University of Ibadan Senate has no power to suspend/ proscribe the students’ union as it violates the Nigerian constitution. We call for immediate re-opening of the school for all undergraduate students and unconditional restoration of the students’ union.

  • Refusal to give student I.D cards despite the fact that they paid for it is criminal and misappropriation punishable under the Nigerian law. We recommend Prof. Olayinka Idowu for immediate investigation by an independent probe panel comprising elected representatives of staff and students

The Education Rights Campaign ( ERC) Oyo state chapter strongly frowns at the recent attacks on students’ democratic rights by the university of Ibadan management. We condemn in strong terms the arbitrary suspension of the students’ union by the university of Ibadan senate. We in the same manner oppose the sudden closure of the university against undergraduate students of the university. The university management under the leadership of Prof. Abel Olayinka Idowu must immediately reopen the university for all undergraduate students and unconditionally restore the activities of the students’ union claimed to be suspended.

The University of Ibadan management under the Prof. Abel Idowu Olayinka unilaterally shut down the university against  undergraduate students of the university  on Monday  29th May, 2017. This is immediately after mass of students staged a protest to express their dissatisfaction against anti-student policies of Prof. Olayinka-led management. Part of the agitations of students during the May 29, 2017 protest was against the failure of the university management to issue to them their school I.D cards which has been paid for in the last 3 academic semesters, bad student welfare on campus, and victimization of students who were suspended or expelled because they exercised their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

Worthy to note that, since 2015/2016 academic session, university of Ibadan students have continued to be denied school I.D cards despite the fact that  they are being forced to pay exorbitantly for same. In 2016/2017 academic session for instance students were forced to pay a sum of N650 as the levy for the production of the school I.D card. This amount was increased by over 200% to N2,000 in the 2016/2017 session without any prior discussion with either the student or their representatives. Despite different forms of difficulties  students went through before they could pay this outrageous amount for just a mere production of ID card, the Olayinka-led management still went ahead to deny them of the issuance of the ID card. To us in the ERC, the refusal of Prof. Olayinka led university administration to issue school I.D Cards to students despite the fact that they have paid for it is a criminal act punishable under the Nigerian law.

ERC therefore uses this medium to call for an independent panel comprising elected representatives of staff and students to carry out a public probe of the financial misappropriation carried out by Prof. Olayinka and his allies in the University of Ibadan. The refusal to give students their I.D cards after payment is a breach of Nigerian contract law and deserve immediate investigation and possible trial.

The  students’ welfare condition on campus is another area of concern. It has continued to degenerate as toilets and bathrooms in the hostels became more terrible, kitchenettes across the hostels have practically collapsed, lecture rooms and practical laboratories are ill-equipped and the university library refused to be opened for students.

All of these issues formed the background upon which the students’ union leadership of Ojo Aderemi held a union congress on 27th May, 2017 where the entirety of students resolved to protest against the continuous refusal of the Prof Olayinka led administration to issue students their ID cards. The Ojo Aderemi union leadership carried out the congressional resolution by leading a peaceful protest of students on 29th May, 2017. This is despite the threats by the Oyo state Police Commissioner who promised to rain  fire; brimstone and kill any student who come out to protest on May 29. This protest recorded a huge success as generality of students refused to be threatened and organized themselves more for a peaceful demonstration  without any record of destruction of properties or life lost!  As matter of fact the peaceful protest was conducted under the watch of the Oyo State police commissioner and his men.

Unfortunately, instead of the Prof. Olayinka-led management to accede to the demands of the aggrieved students, it so sad to note that the Vice Chancellor unilaterally decided to force  undergraduate students out of the university and put all student hostels under lock and key. An emergency senate meeting was summoned the second day which was largely used to rubber stamp the arbitrary closure of the university following which the students union and its activities were pronounced suspended. ERC condemns in strong terms both the sudden closure of the university against undergraduate students and proscription of the students’ union. This is obviously not in tandem with the provisions of the Nigerian constitution. The Nigerian constitution recognizes the rights of all Nigerians to freedom of association and peaceful assembly. We therefore call for immediate and unconditional restoration of the students’ union. We hold that the student union is not a cube of sugar that can just be dissolved at will by the  university senate!

ERC also condemns the political victimization of students and demands an immediate reinstatement. It must be stated that before now the Olayinka led administration has been victimizing students who participated or led a protest of students on campus. Students who speak against the ills of the university administration were either rusticated or expelled from the university. It is obvious that Prof. Idowu  Olayinka has now turned the university of Ibadan to a military empire where students’ independent voice is being trampled upon and students who raise radical positions against the abnormalities of the university  are victimized.

We commend the courage of students who came out in their hundreds to protest against the fraudulent act of the university management. We at the same time encourage them not to be discouraged with the sudden attacks that was unleashed on them by the university management. The union leadership at this material point in time should come out with practical lines of actions to force the university management to immediately re-open the university and for unconditional restoration of the students’ union. The ERC Oyo state chapter pledges to give all necessary political support to the union leadership, in principle, towards fighting for the reinstatement of the union activities and immediate recall of all politically victimized students.

ERC remains resolute in the fight for immediate reinstatement of the union and re-opening of the university for all undergraduate students.  The union leadership of Ojo Aderemi should commence the process to organize mass actions across communities and towns in Ibadan and beyond where UI students reside as a means of kick-starting political struggle for the immediate re-opening of the school.

Our Demands:
  • Immediate and unconditional re-opening of the school
  • The university senate has no power to suspend any of the union activities or proscribe the union. We demand an immediate and unconditional restoration of the union
  • Students have rights to independent unionism. No to interference in the running of the union activities. No to authority-midwifed attempt to review the students union constitution.
  • The refusal to give students I.D card after payment is criminal. We recommend the University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abel Olayinka Idowu, for immediate investigation by an independent probe panel comprising elected representatives of staff and students
  • All politically and unjustly rusticated/expelled students must be immediately and unconditionally recalled.
  • We oppose any form of attack on students’ democratic rights on campus. Students have rights to associate, rights of expression and rights to form unions.
  • We call on all other sister unions on campus: NASU, SSANU, ASUU and the wider trade and labour union movement- NLC, ULC and TUC to lend support and solidarity to the struggle of students going on in the university of Ibadan.

  Segun  Ogun                                   
Oyo state Coordinator