Friday 22 September 2017


Press Statement

The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) welcomes the conditional suspension of the 36-day old strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the 9-day old strikes of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).

We commend the staff unions for a battle well fought. We also salute students and parents for showing understanding and solidarity while the strikes lasted.

No doubt, a significant achievement of these strikes is that the workers unions in the public university system have by their determined actions demonstrated that struggle pays and that if we fight consistently we can win important concessions.

We however note the conditional nature of the suspension of the strikes. According to ASUU leadership, the union would immediately resume the strike action by the end of October 2017 if the Federal Government fails to fulfill its promises to meet the demands including the payment of part of the balance of the N1.3 trillion Public University Revitalization Funds. Similarly, according to a report by the Guardian newspaper of Friday 22nd September 2017, SSANU, NASU and NAAT “would come back in a month to review the level of compliance with the agreement and shall not hesitate to resume the strike if government reneges on the agreements reached or delays in any aspect”.

This places the ball back in the court of the Federal Government. We shall hold the government responsible if ASUU, SSANU, NASU and NAAT are compelled to embark on another strike as a result of its negligence. Now that Nigeria has exited recession and there is improvement in government revenue, the usual excuse that government is cash-strapped is no more acceptable. We therefore urge the Federal government to mobilize the resources required to meet the demands of ASUU, SSANU, NASU and NAAT within the stipulated time in order to ensure that the academic calendar is not again disrupted.

As we have repeatedly argued, Nigeria has enough resources to fund and provide free and quality education at all levels. The major obstacle are widespread corruption of the thieving ruling elite and the inequitable, bankrupt and outmoded capitalist system which places priority on profit rather than genuine needs of the people.

While struggles can win temporary concessions and improvements, a lasting solution is only possible if the working class and poor masses struggle to overthrow the capitalist system and replace it with a revolutionary workers and poor people’s government armed with socialist policies. This would require the formation and building of a mass workers alternative political party to dislodge the ruling APC, PDP and other anti-education and anti-poor parties in power.

It is clear that without the working class capturing political power, it would be impossible to reverse the ugly paradox of a country blessed with abundant human and natural resources but parading one of the worst literacy rates and out-of-school children population in the world. 

We therefore urge ASUU, SSANU, NASU and NAAT to link their current struggles to the need for a mass working people political alternative. In particular, we challenge them to also champion the process of convening a national conference of trade unions, socialist groups, human rights and civil society organizations, students and youth groups and pro-working masses organizations to discuss the need to form and build a political alternative to fight for political power.


Hassan Taiwo Soweto                                                                   Ibukun Omole                      
National Coordinator (07033697259)                                       National Secretary


By Olamide Adabale 
ERC Member National Executive  Committee

Education Rights Campaign (ERC) strongly backs the strike action declared by the Joint Action Committee of the three non-academic unions in the public university system - Senior Staff Association of Nigeria University (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT). 

We urge the Federal government to immediately meet their demands. We note that whilst members of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have returned to work after their 36-day strike, this would not result into full resumption of administrative and academic activities in the individual public universities in a situation where the members of the three non-academic unions who are critical to the running of the University system remain on strike. This is why we think that the government must do everything in its powers to meet the demands of the unions so that they can resume work.

All the strikes rocking the public university system are directly linked to the crisis of underfunding. This is one of the reasons we of the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) consistently demand adequate funding of public education and democratic management of schools. 

As far as we are concerned, Nigeria has enough resources not only to fund public education adequately but also to provide free education at all levels. The obstacle however is neo-liberal capitalism and the rabid corruption of the thieving ruling elite who prefer to enrich themselves rather than using the country’s wealth to fund education and other vital social services. This is why the struggle to salvage public education can only be victorious when linked with a movement of the working people to put an end to the profit-first capitalist system and enthrone a workers and poor people’s government armed with socialist programmes.  

Just like the now suspended ASUU strike, this strike action was provoked by the Federal Government’s failure to honour the 2009 agreement reached with the unions. In the statement issued by the committee, the government has failed on its part to implement or even exhibit any serious commitment to meet the agreements thus making the strike action inevitable. It will be recalled that some of the demands are based on the payment of the earned allowance, proper funding of education in line with the recommendation of 26% budgetary allocation, provision of adequate infrastructure, improvement in the teaching and learning facilities amongst others. Unarguably, some of the demands if not implemented will continue to place the university system on the precipice. Without gainsaying the fact, the facilities in universities have continued to deteriorate contributing to the retarded development of teaching and learning in the universities. 

Contrary to the idea of 21st century and the “change” mantra of the Buhari government, public higher institutions still operate on the antiquated and sub-standard teaching and learning facilities. The welfare condition of the students is nothing to write home about. There is also the crisis of dilapidation and insufficient hostels and lecture theatres, laboratories, epileptic light and water supply, invasion of bed-bugs, all subjecting both the students and lecturers to poor learning and teaching condition. In this kind of situation, it is crystal clear that the graduates that will be produced as products of this system will likely be half baked. The denial of the workers their earned allowance is criminal. It is saddening that with the vast resources of Nigeria economy, Nigeria in the recent period has not even met half of the UNESCO benchmark of 26%. 

We hereby denounce this attitude of the government an act of callousness and insensitivity which is apparently detrimental to the education sector and the general welfare of the university workers. The hardship these workers have faced as a result of the non-payment of the earned allowance is beyond measures, while the political office holders continue receiving their salaries and jumbo allowances uninterruptedly. We urge the unions to be consistent and resilient in the struggle since this struggle is not in the first instance restricted solely to the payment of the earned allowance which of course is the right of the workers but likewise on the need to revitalize the education sector and to combat corruption and impunity which has served as a clog in the wheel of sanity restoration within the university system with monumental embezzlement and mismanagement of funds necessary for the development of the universities among other corrupt practices. 

Suffice to recall, that universities in the recent period has become havens of corruption, consequently we reiterate that upon the disbursement of the fund meant for development of the university by the government, democratic monitoring by all the stake holders in the university must be immediately put in place. This is a major way that this could guarantee the avoidance of mismanagement of funds by the university management. Therefore placing at the front burner the demand for the democratization of the decision making organ of the university by the unions as a panacea to solving the menace of corruption in the university system is of utmost significance. 

We hold that the striking unions instead of the sit-at-home approach should rather link the strike action with public activities like distribution of leaflets, organization of rallies, demonstrations and symposia to practically press home their demands. Furthermore, we enjoin the mass of students to give solidarity support to the unions towards proper functioning of the university system. On this very note, we strongly advise the Federal Government to immediately accede to the demands of the striking unions and be sincerely committed to the revitalization of the education sector.

Thursday 21 September 2017


*A committee of participants was set up for organising regular monthly meeting of ERC

By Wale Olaleye
Moorplantation Ibadan  Branch of ERC

No fewer than 50 persons were in attendance at a public symposium organised by the Oyo State branch of Education Rights Campaign, ERC on Friday, 8th September, 2017 to mark the end of a four week free holiday lesson it organised specifically for secondary students transiting from SS2 to SS3 in the state. In attendance were students who participated in the free holiday lesson, parents and volunteers teachers.  

Speakers at the event with the theme: “Poor performance of student in the state in external examination: the cause and solution” were Mr Ojo, Vice Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Oyo State wing; Dr. Deji Omole, Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU), University of Ibadan Branch and Prof. Ayo Akinwole, former treasurer ASUU-UI branch.

The first to speak was Mr Ojo who introduced the topic by highlighting factors that are responsible the poor academic performance of secondary school students in the state in external examination like West Africa Examination Council, WAEC. The poor attitude of government towards adequate funding of public education was recognised as one of the factors. However, Ojo believed that the factor largely responsible for poor academic performance among students in the state is the attitude of students and that of their parents toward education. This view was refuted by Dr Deji Omole who in his own speech maintained that the so-called poor attitude of students and parents to education are largely induced by bad governance by members of the political ruling elites 

Omole believes that the  so called poor attitude to education by students and parents would die a natural death once the affair of the country is under the control of a pro-people government that would at all-time willing to invest huge resources at the disposal of the country in the area of need of the poor working people in which education is a key. He therefore, charged the government across the country including the Oyo State government to comply with the UNESCO recommendation which suggest that at least 26% of yearly budget must be voted on education. This was believed that is capable to commence the process of reversing the growing and threatening ugly trend in the country education sector.

Omole also commended the parents and students for the role they played during the last year struggle of the Oyo state working people against the attempt by the Ajimobi-led government to sell off some public secondary schools in the state. He therefore assured while making his submission that ASUU will always stand with workers and poor in the struggle for a better society in which struggle for a free and quality education is inclusive. 

Professor Akinwole supported all the political points raised by Omole, while making his own contribution. According to him, the reason while government after government in Nigeria regardless of political parties continue to deny public education adequate funding is to continue to keep the working people and the poor in a perpetual state of ignorance. He therefore, submitted by urging ERC to design a way to continue to monitor and organise the participants in the free holiday lesson even after the free holiday lesson.

The highpoint of the programme was when students and their parents were given opportunity to make comments and share their views about the lesson. The five parents who spoke expressed their gratitude to the ERC for organising the free holiday lesson at the same time urged for wider publicity and awareness for the next edition of the lesson. The students on their own part shared the tremendous positive impact the coaching had on them. For instance, Adam Erepomini Joy, a female student from Community Grammar School, Mokola said that “lessons where money is paid could not have been better in terms of quality than the ERC free lesson”. She added that, “none of the lessons where students pay huge amount of money could boast of set of quality volunteer teachers which include university professors, PHD holders and principals of secondary schools that came around to teach in the free holiday lesson”.

 Another student from same Community Grammar school, Mokola, Sunday Ajayi also said that “the lesson offered me an opportunity not only to be taught by professor and university lecturers but also an opportunity to have an handshake with all kinds of important and credible personalities like lawyers and radio presenters”. Awal Resqot, a female student from Methodist secondary school, Bodija, said that “the lesson was a great improvement over what we are used to in our school. For instance, important subjects like English, Mathematics, Physics, and chemistry that we rarely have teacher to teach in my school are being handled by two or three different teachers in the ERC free lesson”. Bankole Rukayat from Ibadan Municipal Government, IMG Grammar School said “I’m glad for being part of the lesson. Am now convinced that public education can actually be better than private schools if it’s properly and adequately funded and organised”

Other highlight of the symposium was the general overview of the free holiday lesson given by comrade Abbey Trotsky, the Oyo State Coordinator of Democratic Socialist Movement, DSM. Abbey Trotsky in his speech established the fact that ERC is not a charity organisation but a campaign platform for free and quality education. The point was raised to emphasized the central motive behind the lesson which is to demonstrate the fact that a free and qualitaty public education is possible if the enormous resources at the disposal of the Nigeria state is judiciously used for the need of the people and not for the greed and profit interest of the few rich Nigerian ruling elites in both business and polity. The initiative of the ERC is not to give credence to the impression that government alone cannot guarantee free and qualitative education as often advanced by many non-governmental charity organisations.  

Abbey revealed that the four week lesson which started on the 7th August, 2017 was a huge success in the sense that it was able to record an enrolment of no fewer than thirteen (13) volunteer teachers and ninety five (95) students from eight secondary schools situated within  Ibadan North local government area in Ibadan. The schools include the Community Grammar School, Mokola; the venue for the free holiday coaching; St. Theresa College, I.M.G Grammar School; St. Louis Grammar School; Baptist Secondary School and Sacred Secondary School, Abadina Secondary School, UI and  Queen Secondary School, Apata. 

Among the volunteer teachers are academics in the University of Ibadan and professional  teachers in public secondary schools in the state. A total number of 10 subjects were taught in the four weeks the lesson lasted. These include: Mathematics, English Studies, Physics, Economics; Biology, Chemistry, Commerce, Account, Government and Literature in English Abbey also revealed that while the normal academic works hold from  Monday to Friday some extra-mural activities like career and counselling talks; drama and poetry are part of the activities undertaken in course of the lesson. The extracurricular activities were no doubt provided an avenue for students to showcase their abilities and potentials. Important personality with credibility which includes lawyers, broadcasters and professors were also invited at different occasions to talk to the students during the extra-curricular activities.

Also important to mention is that over 30 copies of Socialist Democracy (SD), paper of DSM, were sold to students. Political discussion and debate were often initiated around different articles in the SD. This no doubt offered an opportunity to introduce to some of the students to the programme and ideas of the ERC as well as that of the DSM. Abbey in his submission appreciated both students and their parents for making the lesson possible at the same time urge for their support in the subsequent edition of the lesson especially in the area of mobilisation and publicity.

Gifts were also presented to the three best students in science, art and commercial. This presentation which was done by Dr Deji Omole was followed by a brief word of appreciation given by one of the recipients, Ejaife Roselyne, a student of community Grammar secondary school  on behalf of the two other recipients who are: Awwal Resqot and Olamiposi Ayuba; a female and male students from Methodist Secondary school, Bodija, respectively.

 The symposium was covered by galaxy television station and was brought to end with an ERC anthem led by Comrade Shewa Adekoya, the Oyo state Co-ordinator of DSM women wing, who also doubled as the moderator of the symposium. After which a five student co-ordinating committee was set-up for organising further activities of the ERC including a monthly meeting of students who participated in the lesson. Two students and two parents including comrade Segun Ogun, the Oyo State coordinator of ERC later featured in a brief television interview

Sunday 10 September 2017


-    * Management and Nigerian police should provide adequate security for the students now
ü      *  Students should start mobilizing for a campaign against insecurity now
ü      *   Staff unions should not wait until they start to become victims as well
The attention of the Education Rights Campaign (ERC), Ondo State Chapter, has been drawn towards the series of mishap happening within the premises of Adeyemi College of Education campus and its environs. According to the circular released from the office of the Dean, Divisions of Students’ Affairs, on the 6th of September, 2017, 3 female students of the college got missing within the span of 35 days (July 28 – Sept 1). Also, reports from the students have indicated that series of theft and armed robbery have become rampant on the campus since the inception into the 2016/2017 session in October 2016.

We hereby call on the school management to embark on an effective security measures in order to curb these issues before it gets out of hand.

According to the Dean, Mr. O.O. Olaluwoye, one Miss Oladepo Blessing Oluwaferanmi, of the department of BIO/CHEM (NCE combination), was declared missing on the 28 of July, 2017. On the 4th of August, another student, Miss Oloruntimilehin Semilore Mary, of the department of Agricultural Science, was also declared missing. As if this is not enough, another case of a missing female student. Miss Olaniyan Mary Oluwaseun, a Degree 1 student of the department of History, was reported missing on the 1st day of September, 2017. 

Before the most recent case, the students thought the issue of insecurity was over when the Men of the police reportedly arrested 2 suspects who allegedly used one of the missing girls for ritual. As reported by the Sahara Reporters on the 27th of August, 2017, the decomposed body of one of the missing Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo girls was found in the ritualists den with one or more of her body parts missing. Up till now, the body (dead or alive) of the second student has not been found. The latest development was the disappearance of another student of the foremost teachers’ training college in Nigeria. 

As frequently reported by the friends of the victims, these ladies were kidnapped on their way to their Boyfriends’ houses. As if this is the solution, female students are now being severally warned to restrict their visit and movement to their Boyfriends’ houses. We argue that this is not the solution to the problem. The management and Men of the police should find a long-lasting solution to the lingering insecurity issue. We have seen cases in the same college whereby armed men break into houses, steal valuable properties, injure male students, and rape ladies. Perhaps, students should restrain from sleeping in their rented apartments off-campus at nights?

Even the school premises are not secure. There have been several cases of theft and robbery reported in the school premises. Some hostels, like the Café female hostel, have witnessed several cases of theft in the recent days. Even a HOD’s office was burgled while the students had to pay for the loss. All these are indication of a complete insecurity of lives and properties in the Federal-owned College.
This issue of insecurity started months ago and the members of ERC have raised awareness on the need for adequate security measures. For us in ERC, we believe the college management should be able to provide adequate security for their students within and outside the college. Students live outside the campus due to the inadequate hostel facilities within the college premises. Hence, students living off-campus are eligible to all security measures enforced within the school premises. More so, we call on the Nigerian Police to deploy adequate security to the vicinity of the college in order to curb the high rate of kidnapping, theft, and armed robbery.

The students of the college should commence an immediate plan of action to demand adequate securities for their lives and properties. One of the reasons for the existence of a Students’ Union is to discuss the issues that concern the students with a view to finding solutions to them. Sadly, a union without a well-attended congress of students is very far from finding solutions to issues like insecurity. Hence, we call on students to start raising the demand for a mass campaign against insecurity. Truly, those who are affected will know the essence of adequate security.

What goes around will definitely come around. Staff unions should not wait until they become victim of insecurity. In as much as a HOD’s office can be burgled, the remaining members of the staff of the college are not safe. We therefore call on the NASU, SSANU, and COEASU of the college to mobilize themselves in order to find a lasting solution to the case of insecurity in the college. Some members of the staff have children who are also students of the college. Hence, a prompt intervention of the staff unions is highly essential.

Nevertheless, we have seen cases where the Men of the Police are completely clueless and rendered inactive. More so, this issue of insecurity is not only the topic of the day in institutions like ACE ONDO. It can be recalled that students of Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) went on a protest on August 16, 2016, to demand adequate security of their lives and properties. Hence, students’ and staff need to take the struggle for adequate security beyond the four walls of the school. Insecurity is one of the numerous shortcomings of the inequitable capitalist system and the Buhari/APC-led government as evident in daily reports; take Evans as an example. 

This is why we members of the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) are calling for a genuine mass workers political alternative that will wrest political power from the few millionaire looters and establish a workers and poor people’s government anchored on socialist policies. It is until the commanding heights of the Nigerian economy are placed under the democratic control and management of the working people that the social conditions of inequality and mass poverty that creates the problem of insecurity can be totally eradicated.

Owoyomi Damilola Owot
Ondo State ERC Coordinator