Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM)

For struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

Committee for a Workers' International logo

Committee for a Workers' International

 

Home
Join DSM
Contact DSM
About us
Our Manifesto
Statements

Socialist Democracy

Newspaper of the DSM


Campaigns
NCP
Trade Unions
Students
Women
International

Downloads

email

Socialist Democracy March 2004

 

STUDENT STRUGGLES:

UNILORIN ACTIVISTS DEMAND JUSTICE

A member of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM), Lanre Akinola, and another activist; Rasheedat Adesina, recently petitioned Professor Shamsudeen Amali, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Ilorin over the continual withholding of their final statements of result and certificates by the authorities of the University.

The duo had fulfilled all requirements for the award of degrees of the University since 1997/1998 and 2000/2001 academic sessions respectively but up till today, their final statements of result and certificates are being withheld on the basis of their alleged roles in the Kudirat Abiola Anti-Abacha Memorial Rally of June 4, 1998 and students' protests of June 5/19, 1998 and May 1999.

Prior to the students' protests mentioned above, they had been campaigning against the dictatorial tendencies of the then University Administration led by Professor Shuaib Oba AbdulRaheem. They also involved in the campaign for better welfare condition on campus and against commercialisation of education by the government.

Therefore, it was not surprising that despite the fact that the duo were not on campus on June 5, 1998, when the students staged a protest over the deteriorating welfare condition on campus, they were accused of leading the protest. On the said day, there was a power failure on the permanent site of the University when students were watching international friendly football match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and Holland national team, which led to a spontaneous protest on the part of the students. This led to a prolonged closure of the University.

Following the closure, the University Senate raised a committee on the matter. But without any proper trial, it pronounced them guilty and recommended that they should be expelled from the University.

However, before the University's Student Disciplinary Committee (S.D.C) could uphold the recommendation of the Committee, they headed for the Federal High Court, Ilorin, to enforce their fundamental human rights. On 2/9/1999, the court entered judgement in their favour and ordered that their studentship should not be negatively tampered with in any way.

Similarly, in May 1999, Miss Rasheedat Adesina was suspended from the University for her alleged role in the students' protest against the increment in fees. She proceeded to the Federal High Court, Ilorin to seek reprieve on the suspension order. On 9/9/I999, the court gave an interim order putting her suspension from the institution on hold pending the final determination of the case. On 25/7/2000, the court finally ruled in her favour by declaring her suspension from the University null and void.

In March 2001, the Federal Government set up a Committee to look into the cases of all politically rusticated and victimised students in tertiary institutions across the country. The Committee was headed by the then Special Adviser on Education to President Obasanjo, Chief S.K. Babalola. The committee intervened and urged the victimised students Lanre and Rasheedat to write an apology letter to the authorities through the committee. This they did in a letter dated 22nd June, 2001, to the University. In response to their letters of apology, the University through the then Registrar, Mr. M.T. Balogun, wrote them letters of pardon dated 13th September, 2001, informing them that their apologies had been accepted.

After waiting endlessly for almost six years to get their results and certificates, they decided to petition the new Vice-chancellor of the University. In their petition, they stated that they could no longer understand the basis why their final statements of result and certificates have not been released despite the court rulings (in their favour), intervention of Federal Government's committee on the matter, their letters of apology, and subsequent pardon by the University.

The duo stated further, "more so, the message from foregoing to discerning observers and the public at large is that as far as UNILORIN situation is concerned, matters such as above cannot be resolved internally as we had originally thought".

In conclusion, they appealed to the current Vice-chancellor of the institution to reconsider their cases on the basis of justice and morality and grant them real pardon by releasing their credentials.

 

 

Socialist Democracy March 2004