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Socialist Democracy July - August 2003 Index



By Femi Freedom, OAU

At the Federal Polytechnic, Ede, Osun State, 11 cultists including the assistant secretary general and a parliamentarian of the students unions were arrested by the Man O War, a voluntary, students' paramilitary group on the campus. The group which enjoys support from the school authority demanded for N5,000 from each of the 11 cultists before they could be released. The students' union leaders later woke up from their sleep and mobilised the students against the Man O War because of the money they collected from the cultists' parents. During the mobilisation, there was a gunshot from the Man o war office claiming that they wanted to defend themselves and their building from attacks by students.

In actual fact, the responsibility of the students union to defend students from cultists was taken over by Man O War because the students' union had failed to perform. But the Man O War has become a money making venture and an open cult group, shooting gun on campus without any comment from the school authority and the Nigerian Police have not questioned them on where they got the guns.

Man O War is equivalent to Nigerian police force because in the police station, where bail is free, they demand for money and helpless people pay, the same bail racket is now happening on our campus. While we are against cultism, the security of lives and property should lie in the hands of the students' union and not Man O War or police that will tell us there is accidental discharge.

Up till date, the school management could not come out with a position on the gun shot and the issue of bailing cultists with money. The question is: "is it the school management that gave the Man O war gun"? And if any negative thing should happen to the students, the school authorities should be held responsible. Meanwhile, the students' union leadership should rise up to its responsibilities.




Socialist Democracy July - August 2003 Index