Continued Attack on Democratic Rights in Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife: A Call for Inter
Continued Attack on Democratic Rights in Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife: A Call for Intervention
Security man destroying DSM secretariat
Lawal Orsh, Secretary General, DSM Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife Branch
The secretariat of Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM), Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife Chapter was destroyed by security men on 5th October, 2010 on the directive of the Dean of Students’ Affairs (DSA), Dr (Mrs.) Durosinmi, and supervised by the warden of the Fajuyi Hall, where the secretariat is situated, Mr. Falope. The DSM has occupied the secretariat for about 30 years.
This is a continuation of the attacks previously launched against the organization by some students’ union officials at the instance of same DSA, and other university officials including the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Adesanya, the Chief Security Officer, Mr. Yinka Salami and the Chairman of the University’s Security Committee, Prof. J.A Fabayo, in July, when the same secretariat was destroyed, several members of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) were physically attacked, unlawfully detained and their properties destroyed by their sponsored thugs. The aim is to cripple socialist and left groups on the campus, and replace them with neo-fascist elements. This has so far failed, as the DSM was able to gather itself and continue to raise campaign on welfare demands of students and workers.
Elimination of socialist and left organizations on campus, especially DSM, which is seen as the arrowhead against campaign against under funding of education, privatization, commercialization, corruption (both within and outside the university) and the management’s maladministration, has been a major agenda of the university management under the headship of Prof. Micheal Oladimeji Faborode, the vice chancellor. It is ridiculous that the same university management that set up Investigative Panel into the July attack, as a result of massive outcry against the attacks, aside refusing to release the report of the panel for the past one month, is now launching another attack on the victims of the July attack.
We call for the Nigerian public, civil society, pro-democracy groups, labour movement, students’ movement, socialist organizations, etc to prevail on the OAU management to stop turning the university into a jungle. Since his inception, Prof. Micheal Faborode administration has been one of continuous attacks on both progressive students’ and workers’ movements on campus. Several students’ leaders have been and are still being victimized while the students’ union was once banned because of its radicalism; the current students’ union leadership was only allowed to exist because it has the image of the management. For instance, a student journalist, Ayo Ademiluyi, has not been allowed to graduate since last December because a campus newspaper, which he edited, published a story on the investigation into pension fund in OAU by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related matters Commission (ICPC), which the university management found unsavoury.
We call for the immediate arrest and prosecution of those behind the previous July 12-14 attacks on socialist students including university officials aforementioned and their thugs. We demand immediate compensation to all whose properties were destroyed and end to victimization and management sponsored violence against activists.