Wednesday 28 March 2018



The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) strongly condemns the siege laid by the police on the Secretariat of the Ikeja branch of the NBA with a view to arrest the chairman of the group and intimidate the NBA and Civil society organisations from going on with their planned protest against the anti-poor Lagos land use charge law 2018 scheduled to take place tomorrow Thursday March 29, 2018. 

This action of the police is undemocratic and tyrannical. Its constitute harrassment of innocent citizens reminiscent of the dark days of military rule. We hereby call for immediate lift of the siege and the recognition of the rights of Nigerians to protest any anti-poor policy. 

We condemn the statement issued by the Lagos state police commissioner where he justified the illegal action of the police on the basis of the need to ensure that the security of President Buhari who is scheduled to visit Lagos tomorrow is not jeopardized on account of the NBA protest. 

While as law-abiding citizens we understand the need to ensure maximum security for the president even though poor Nigerians live in conditions of daily insecurity, we beg to disagree that the protest of the NBA scheduled much before the president visit was announced can cause a breach of security. We ask: how can the protest of the NBA and CSOs jeopardize the president's security when the State govt and the APC are planning to bus in thousands of people from all around Lagos and other APC-governed states in the South west and beyond to stage street rallies and processions tomorrow as part of the programmes to welcome President Buhari? 

If the police wants to be fair, then it is not only the NBA protest that would be stopped tomorrow, other rallies and processions being planned for tomorrow to welcome the president would have to be stopped also for the same reasons. We think the police excuses are weak and unacceptable. We hereby demand that the police recognise the democratic right of Nigerians to protest against anti-poor policies, lift the siege on the NBA, halt any plan to arrest NBA and CSO leaders and allow the planned peaceful protest against Land use charge law 2018 to go on tomorrow without hindrance.

Hassan Taiwo Soweto
National Coordinator

Thursday 22 March 2018


As Authorities Step up Repression, Escalate the Solidarity

Call for Protest Letters and Messages

Repression at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile Ife has taken a new turn with the arrest of five (5) students activist and their remand in prison custody for protesting against forceful eviction of students from their hostels.

The five (5) student activists are: Gbenga Oloninikan (Chairman, Great Ife Students Union Action Committee), Oyedeji Samson, Jimoh Oladipupo, Adeniji John and Olajide Ademola. They are members of an Action committee formed at a congress and composed by representatives of left organizations (including the DSM) and radical students which has been acting in the absence of a union to organize students to resist attacks.

The students were arrested on Wednesday 21 March 2018 while protesting against attempts by the authorities of the University to forcefully evict from hostels students who stayed back on campus during the break to undergo Teaching practice and Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES). They have been remanded at the medium security prison, Kosere Ile-Ife, after appearing before Hon. Magistrate F.1 Omisade of Magistrate court Ife today Thursday 22 march 2018.

But their travail is actually part of a long process of orchestrated assault on the fundamental rights of students by the despotic Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Ogunmodede and members of his kitchen cabinet who are hell bent on silencing dissent voices on the campus. So far, several students who have either spoken out against fee hike or participated in protest actions over bad welfare conditions have been suspended. In 2017, ERC National Secretary Omole Ibukun and other student activists were suspended and the Students Union banned following a students’ protest against poor welfare conditions.

We call for protest letters and messages to condemn the arrest and demand the immediate release of the five students. The letters should also demand the unconditional reinstatement of the ERC National Secretary, Omole Ibukun and all victimized students activists of the University, restoration of the proscribed students union and a halt to all attacks on democratic rights.

The five (5) students were arraigned on trumped up 3-count charges (misdemeanor, breach of peace and assault) today Thursday 22 March 2018 before Hon. Magistrate F.I. Omisade of the Magistrate court Ife who remanded them in prison after granting them bail with onerous conditions attached including two (2) sureties on grade level 14 with five hundred thousand naira (N500, 000) bail bond each. These onerous conditions are meant to keep them in prison for as long as possible.

The conditions are also disproportionate to the charges levelled against these five students and show to what extent the police and the judiciary in Osun State have been seriously compromised by the OAU authorities in its bid to ensure that these five activists are kept behind bars.

This is not new. The OAU authorities has a history of using the police and the court to clamp students and workers leaders in prison on trumped up charges. A few weeks ago, the chairman of the University’s branch of the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) was arrested and treated in the same manner for enforcing a national strike of the union for payment of earned allowance.

The arrest and detention of the five (5) student activists bring to a turning point the litany of attacks on democratic rights in the University. If the public does not act now, Prof. Ogunmodede will turn OAU into a slave camp. We call on staff unions, labour movement, students unions, civil society organizations and members of the public to call University authorities to order and to demand:

  1. Immediate and Unconditional release of the five (5) students,
  2. Unconditional recall of Omole Ibukun and others,
  3. Restoration of the Students union and
  4. Halt to further attacks on democratic rights.  
 Send all protest letters and SMS to:
  1. Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ogunmodede: +2348037195770
  2. Registrar OAU, Mr. Awoyemi: +2348033857858, +2348054428510
E-Mail:,, Please send copies of protest letters to 

Hassan Taiwo Soweto
National Coordinator

Friday 16 March 2018


ERC Demands immediate Rescue of the 110 Dapchi girls as well as all people abducted by Boko Haram militants
 Press Statement

The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) condemns the abduction of 110 school girls by the Boko-Haram terrorist group at the Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi in Yobe State on February 19, 2018.

The ERC demands the immediate rescue of these young schoolgirls safe and unharmed. We also demand the rescue of the remaining 113 Chibok girls as well as several other persons including young school boys and women in Boko Haram Militants captivity. Apart from the Dapchi girls, several mass abductions of both girls and boys have occurred in the North East since 2009 with little or no media coverage. Infact in 2014, 58 male students of Federal Government College Buni Yadi in Yobe State were slaughtered in cold blood by the Boko Haram militants for receiving “Western education”.
For us in the ERC, all lives matter. This is why we demand that alongside the Dapchi and Chibok girls, all other victims of mass abduction must be rescued and reunited with their families. Just as it has been done in the case of Chibok and now Dapchi, we demand a list of all people who are missing or abducted by Boko Haram in Yobe, Adamawa and Borno states and a coordinated effort by security agencies to rescue them within the shortest possible time.
As far as we are concerned, the Dapchi abduction is one that should not have happened. We hereby demand a public probe comprising representatives of the labour movement, communities in the North East and civil society to probe the Safe School Initiative launched by former President Jonathan and former UK prime minister and of UN envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown in the aftermath of the Chibok mass abduction in 2014. This initiative which attracted donor funding worth millions of dollars was meant, among other things, to provide security and fortifications for schools in Yobe, Adamawa and Borno in order to prevent a repeat of the Chibok mass abductions. We need such a public probe to determine just how much security and fortification the Government Girls Science and Technical College in Dapchi had and whether or not the huge funds donated to the Safe schools initiative are not being stolen just as we have seen with the misappropriation of funds meant for Internal Displaced Persons (IDP) camps.
Approximately four years after the Chibok Schoolgirl abduction, without bringing the perpetrators to justice, without recovering all the girls, and with huge sum of money paid as ransom to the terrorists, it is a total shame that the Nigerian Government still cannot secure the lives of Nigerians including young school girls and boys.
A central responsibility and cardinal objective of government is protection of lives and property. The government cannot declare any victory over the Boko haram insurgency when this cardinal objective continue to remain elusive. No matter how many times Boko haram is declared defeated, the only way citizens will only begin to feel any sense of relief if they can feel safe and secured to pursue their daily bread without threat of being killed by a suicide bomb or their children abducted from schools.
We consider this kidnapping as not just a setback for girl-child education but for education generally. It must agitate the minds of Nigerians that these girls are probably going through dehumanizing rape, sold off as sex slaves, going through forced marriages, violent assaults or different forms of emotional, psychological, sexual or physical abuse in the hands of these terrorists. We recommend a financial compensation by the government to support these grieving parents and a total health rehabilitation for these girls upon their recovery from the terrorists.
To make up for the setback that Boko Haram attacks and mass abductions has inflicted on girl-child education, the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) demand increase in the funding of the education sector, rapid expansion of education facilities in the North East and all parts of the country, adequate protection for school infrastructures, students, teachers and other education workers and a total reversal of commercialization and all anti-poor education policies. Without improving funding to education and halting all anti-poor education policies, the Buhari government will be helping Boko Haram to complete its campaign against formal education in general and girl-child education in particular.
As far as we are concerned, Nigeria has enough resources to provide free, functional and democratically managed public education at all levels. The only problem is capitalism which means the much of Nigeria’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few. The only way to tackle this in order to ensure that resources are freed to provide free education is to place the key sectors of Nigeria’s economy under public democratic control and management alongside with a socialist plan.

Hassan Taiwo Soweto 
National Coordinator (07033697259) 

Ibukun Omole
National Secretary