Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM



Called For Reinstatement Of Victimised Students Activists

On Saturday November 15 2008, lecturers, non teaching staff members, representatives of labour and pro-masses organizations as well as students gathered at the Oduduwa hall of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) to celebrate the retirement of Prof. Omotoye Olorode-a lecturer of Botany at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU). The programme tagged ‘Send Off and Book Presentation’ was organised by a committee of friends to honour him.

At this programme, the agitation for the reinstatement of OAU victimised student activists received a boost as Prof. Olorode openly called for their reinstatement.

Prof. Omotoye Olorode is a foremost ASUU activist, an accomplished academic and radical intellectual. His contributions to the struggles of the academic staff as well as struggles against military absolutism and for social emancipation of the working and toiling people are worth celebrating indeed. Hence his membership of platforms likes Ife Dialogue, Socialist Forum, Ife Collective, CDHR, CLO and JACON.

He is a socialist of the ex-Stalinist school i.e. believes that the ex-Soviet Union and planned economies of Eastern Europe were genuine workers’ states. Naturally, we members of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM), upholding the ideas of Leon Trotsky, are opposed to this view because we see these former soviet entities as “deformed workers’ States”. These differences notwithstanding, the DSM recognise the historic contributions of Prof. Omotoye Olorode and felicitate with him. During his speech, Prof. Olorode called for the enthronement of a ‘new economic order’ in which people’s welfare will be the focus of governance and society’s resources controlled and managed by the working people.

One of the highlights of the celebration was his open appeal to the Vice Chancellor of the University to reinstate unconditionally some student activists being victimised for defending education rights. These victimised student activists are Akinola Saburi, Orgumah Andrew Segun, Dairo Olatunde, Hassan Taiwo Soweto, Frank Ogaga, Oyedeji Nurudeen, Ibraheem Kolawole, Owoeye David, Chukwunyere Onyichechi, and Adeniyi Adenekan Akanni. Six (6) of them are members of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) and the Education Rights Campaign (ERC).

Over a year after their victimisation, they are yet to be recalled. The new students’ union leadership must take up the challenge of fighting for their recall.

Recently, the Union leadership held meetings with the victimised activists and radical student organizations to discuss on how to conduct the reinstatement struggle. But nothing has been done yet to show a real commitment to struggle. We urge the union leadership to come out with practical and coherent programs of actions now and upon resumption. These programs must include appeal letters to the Authorities, leaflets, posters, symposia and rallies to mobilise the mass of students for the struggle. With a consistent approach buoyed by press campaigns to media houses, parents, guardians and the public can be won over to put pressure on the Authorities to recall the victimised students. Equally staff unions need to take a cue from Prof. Olorode by solidarising with students in their struggle.

While wishing Prof. Olorode a happy retirement, we in the DSM urge him to commit his time, energy and experience to building a mass-based working class political party that can lead the daily struggles of the masses and participate in elections for the purpose of wresting political power from capitalist looters.