OMOMEEWA: WE SAY NO TO COVER UP!
WE CONDEMN THE THREAT ON THE LIFE OF COMRADE HASSAN SOWETO MADE BY DR. TAJUDEEN ABAYOMI OLUMOKO (THE ACTING DEAN OF STUDENT AFFAIRS, LASU) AND HIS ACCOMPLICE (A CERTAIN ‘OMO ALHAJA’) DURING THE CANDLELIGHT PROCESSION FOR OMOMEEWA.
WE REITERATE OUR DEMAND FOR A DEMOCRATIC AND INDEPENDENT PROBE COMMITTEE CONSTITUTED BY STUDENTS, STAFF UNIONS, NBA, NBA, SOCIALISTS, ERC ETC.
WE URGE LASUITES TO KICK AGAISNT EVERY ATTEMPT BY THE PRO-MANAGEMENT UNION LEADERSHIP TO MISREPRESENT THE INTEREST OF STUDENTS.
FOR A UNITED STRUGGLE OF STUDENTS AND WORKERS AGAINST ALL ANTI-POOR POLICIES OF THE LASU MANAGEMENT
The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) strongly condemns the threat made on the life of Comrade Hassan Taiwo Soweto, National Coordinator of the ERC, by Dr. Tajudeen Abayomi Olumoko who is the acting Dean of Students’ Affairs, Lagos State University (LASU) and a certain ‘Omo Alhaja’. This threat was made during the candlelight procession organized by the LASU Students’ Union on Wednesday 25 August 2021 to mourn the demise of Comrade Nurudeen Alowonle Yusuf a.k.a Omomeewa who was gruesomely murdered on August 18, 2021.
It must be noted that throughout the candlelight procession, Dr. Tajudeen Olumoko and some pro-management leaders of the Students’ union were making all possible effort, albeit dictatorially, to ensure they had an iron-grip on the procession and make it as non-political as possible so as to prevent any anti-management outrage by students. Furthermore, independent initiatives by students to make the procession political and reflect the life of a socialist activist that Omomeewa was were clamped down on. All the LASU students’ union leadership wanted was a few meters walk by dirge-singing students round the campus and to be addressed by a representative of the Vice-chancellor/University management. What can be more insulting to the memory of Omomeewa, a radical student activist and socialist, than this?
It was exactly these attempts to deprive the candlelight of its political significance that members of the ERC, particularly Comrade Hassan Soweto, and well-meaning students kicked against which angered Dr. Tajudeen Olumoko and the pro-management union leadership. They immediately pounced on Comrade Soweto and threaten to kill him. Cultist slangs like “deal with you”, “clear you” were made by Dr. Tajudeen Olumoko and his accomplice, one ‘Omo Alhaja’. It took the resistance of students to ensure the murdered comrade (Omomeewa) was given a politically-befitting candlelight procession.
We in the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) consider the cult-like gangsterism displayed by Dr. Tajudeen Olumoko, a top official of LASU, as shocking, and an exposure of the tyrannical character of the LASU authorities. Little wonder the institution has made a terrible name for itself in the act of repressing and oppressing radical voices of student and worker activists. As members of the public will recall, apart from late comrade Omomeewa who was persecuted to death by the LASU authorities, there are a number of student and worker activists in the University who are being politically victimized in LASU. This includes at least 5 leaders of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU-LASU) who were sacked for challenging the anti-worker policies of the university authorities. There is no doubt that LASU is being run like a garrison where the consequence of holding a different opinion or opposing management policy is severe victimization. In the case of Omomeewa, while not presuming the result of the ongoing police investigation and what conclusion an independent probe might reach, yet we have no doubt that the LASU authorities are vicariously liable for his death especially considering that he would not have been on campus the day he was brutally murdered if the University management had not invited him to once again appear before a Student Disciplinary Committee (SDC) which was trying him over a phantom case of admission racketeering. We hereby condemn the threat made on Comrade Hassan Soweto. We shall hold Dr. Tajudeen Olumoko and the LASU authorities’ responsible if any harm happens to Comrade Hassan Soweto or any member of the ERC IN LASU.
What is most unfortunate is the role of the leadership of the Lagos State University Students Union (LASUSU) in this whole development. All the actions of the Students Union leadership since Omomeewa was brutally murdered appeared to be targeted at disconnecting the LASU management from the murder of Omomeewa. For instance, the very first statement issued by the students’ union leadership tried to portray the impression that the murder of Comrade Omomeewa was a case of robbery gone wrong. This careless assumption was made without even waiting for a police investigation! Even in its recent statement, the union declared any argument linking the University management to the murder of Omomeewa as ‘untrue’. This is nothing but absolutely shameful and a new low in the pro-management legacy of the leadership of the Lagos State University Students Union (LASUSU).
Shockingly, the students’ union leaders claimed the reason they attempted to stop the use of ERC banner – an obituary banner with inscription of the name of Omomeewa, his picture and message demanding justice for him – at the candlelight procession was because some words on the banner can be translated to mean the university management was involved in the murder of Omomeewa. This shows that the union leaders irresponsibly chose to turn a blind eye to a connection between the two years persecution of Omomeewa, his invitation to LASU on the day of his murder, and his death. Hence, they summarily, albeit unashamedly, declared the LASU management free and unconnected from the murder without any investigation! Well, what all these again confirm is the need for students to fight to reclaim their union and ensure that it is run as a democratic and mass-based platform that defends students interests and not the lapdog of the LASU authorities that LASUSU has been turned into.
We in the Education Rights Campaign (ERC), reiterate our demand for an independent and democratic probe panel constituted by genuine student leaders, representatives of staff unions, pro-masses organizations like ERC, NBA, JAF, media organizations etc. in order to unravel the circumstances surrounding the unfortunate and brutal murder of late comrade Nurudeen Alowonle Yusuf a.k.a Omomeewa.
Deputy National Coordinator
Comrade Adaramoye Michael Lenin
Acting National Mobilization Officer
ERC email: email@example.com