The National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) has embarked on the Save UI project to protest the recent decision of the University of Ibadan management to expel five students and rusticate 16 others.
The students were alleged to have previously criticised the school over its handling of various matters.
Those expelled are Ajuwon Gabriel, Yetunde Mary Agbanigo, Kehinde Samuel Aluko, Olufemi Olusegun Ogunwo and Saheed Ademola Oshodi.
Below is the press statement made available to EduCeleb.com on Friday by the Oyo State NANS chairman, Asubiojo Olajuwon.
PRESS RELEASE ON THE UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN
If we fight, we may win. But if we fail to fight, we have lost already.
It is no longer news that things are not rosy with Nigeria’s premier University, especially as it relates to student rights, fair representation and welfare. The University of Ibadan has since May 30, 2017 outlawed all students’ union activities and subsequently rusticated student leaders for participating in a peaceful protest on democracy day that year.
Greatest Uites, the details of these issues have been carefully analyzed by major stakeholders from within and outside the university, all coming to one conclusion – that the actions of the University portray great intolerance for dissent, or any form of confrontation.
This, is unacceptable and goes against every standard of fundamental human rights, morality and intellectual freedom. It is expected that a tertiary institution, especially one of great repute like the University of Ibadan will hold these values in high esteem and would not be found compromising globally accepted standards of intellectual freedom and fundamental rights.
The National Association of Nigerian Students is the umbrella body of all students in the state and as such, it is our responsibility to not only condemn such acts, but intervene where necessary to restore quality student representation to all institutions within the state and to seek relief to victimized student leaders.
WHY DOES THIS CONCERN YOU?
As a fresh or stale student, you may wonder if this has anything to do with you or your studentship. Why should you care about any students’ union or its leaders?
First, the laws governing all universities in Nigeria provides for adequate student representation before any major decision that affects students is made. However, the university management seems to be less concerned with carrying students along, so as to implement several policies that are unfriendly to students such as increment in school fees, introduction of illegal levies, ban on motorcycles and several other unsavory policies without considering its effects on students’ welfare.
Also, many of the rusticated student leaders are just like you, ordinary students. However, they saw the need to fight for you, to represent your interests and to ensure your rights are protected. They tried to do this at all cost, and are being victimized by the university authorities for it. They deserve not just your empathy but your action.
Unconditional restoration of an independent students’ union in the university of Ibadan, effective immediately the 2018/2019 academic session resumes on June 15, 2019.
Unconditional reinstatement of Ojo Aderemi and other rusticated student leaders to enable them register for the 2018/2019 academic session.
A stay on the implementation of all anti-student policies made without proper consultation with student leaders(N 6,500 technology fee and others), until a students’ union is restored.
A commitment from the university authorities to ensure effective student leadership and representation in the university.
A commitment from the university authorities to improve the welfare conditions of students on campus.
We have attempted to dialogue with the Vice chancellor of the university to no avail and will continue to do so. However, we remain resolute in ensuring our demands are met. We call on all stakeholders, student leaders, concerned and interested students within and outside the university to join us in putting pressure on the University management through a public campaign that begins on Wednesday, June 19, 2019. Details will be communicated in subsequent releases.
Aluta continua, Victoria ascerta!
Asubiojo Olujuwon (Marshal),
National Association of Nigerian Students,