UI: ERC DECRIES WORSENING WELFARE CONDITION AND CALLS FOR A CONGRESS TO DISCUSS ISSUES AFFECTING THE GENERALITY OF STUDENTS
Since the reopening of the university for the commencement of physical academic activities on 20th March 2023, we of the Education Rights Campaign, ERC, University of Ibadan chapter have noticed the continuous poor welfare condition on campus.
Electricity and water supplies across the campus have remained epileptic, something which has worsened the condition of certain facilities like toilets, bathrooms and lecture rooms across the campus. The ERC finds this so worrisome and disturbing given the inevitable consequence this will have on both the academic performance and health condition of the mass of students on campus.
It is in the consideration of this avoidable consequence that we of the ERC frown upon the continuous silence and seemly lackadaisical attitude of the leadership of the Student Union. As far as we are concerned, it is an obligation of the students’ union and its leadership to always ensure that the collective interest and aspiration of the mass of students are adequately protected within and outside the campus.
We, therefore, call on the MASCOT-LED SU to immediately wake up from its slumber and begin to address the range of issues like poor welfare conditions, attack on democratic rights, and the fear of a possible hike in school fees that are bothering the mass majority of students at this present time.
To start with, we strongly hold that the leadership of the students’ union as a matter of urgency should convene a congress or mass meeting of students so as to create an avenue for democratic discussion among students on the range of issues currently affecting them on campus.
Indeed, we of the ERC will argue in the congress for urgent and immediate mass actions of the students that will help to prevail on the university administration on the need to improve both the learning and living condition of students on campus.
Notably among the actions we hope to canvass in the congress include a one-day or half-a-day lecture boycott in order to have a peaceful rally within the campus and submission of a protest letter to the Vice Chancellor. This is to officially bring to the notice of the university administration the current poor state of welfare conditions on campus with a demand for immediate action before the commencement of the second-semester examination.
It is also our belief that the congress will offer students the opportunity to discuss the continuous stay in the office by the union executive having spent over 3 years which is far beyond the period of one academic session stipulated in the students union constitution. As far as we are concerned the congress should be used to set up an electoral committee that will commence the process of organising a fresh election to usher in a new leadership for the students union.
The current growing trend of attack on democratic rights and excessive use of power by committees of hall warden is another issue of great concern which we also hope the congress should discuss. We in the ERC oppose any form of decision that threatens the democratic right of students and we shall be willing to collaborate with both the students union and all the workers’ unions on campus in ensuring that such a trend is curtailed.
Comrade Alesh Debs
ERC UI Branch Secretary
To join the ERC you can contact the following WhatsApp numbers: +234 803 391 4091, +234 907 754 9289, or join our meeting by 5pm every Friday at SUB foyer