Authorities move to crush all left groups on OAU campus.
Authorities move to crush all left groups on OAU campus.
Latest on attacks on Socialist students in OAU:
By Peluola Adewale, DSM Lagos
The attack on the DSM and other comrades by the management of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, has continued unabated. It has now assumed a perfect blend of barbarism and ridiculousness. In a newspaper report during the week, an official of the Union revealed that the aim of the attacks is to rid the campus of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) and all other ideological groups. More importantly, the University Management which had been alternating between veiled support for the attacks and false claims of neutrality has now officially taken the lead in routing socialist students of the University.
Adeleke Olorunwa Emmanuel (Goddey), the DSM candidate for president at the last Students’ Union election, has been suspended from the University for committing an alleged physical assault against the pro-management president of the Students Union.
Contrary to the claim of the management, it was its sponsored hoodlums who physically attacked Goddey, vandalized his room and destroyed and looted his properties, something that was also inflicted upon some other comrades. This attack led to Goddey’s admission to the university teaching hospital. Indeed, Goddey had already petitioned the Vice-Chancellor over the assault and destruction of his properties before the letter of suspension was received. Apparently, the University management has thrown his petition, which heavily indicted its hirelings and attack dogs in the Students’ Union leadership, under the carpet.
Goddey’s suspension is not only ridiculous but also a clear case of victimisation. For instance, the University Management had previously forwarded some members of the DSM and COPY (Congress of Progressive Youths), to the Police Station claiming they were the ones who assaulted the Student Union President. Goddey’s name was not on that list.
But this accusation against comrades, who were taken to the police already seriously battered, was so ludicrous that the police had to release them without preferring any charge against them. This was more so, when the Students’ Union officials in their oral statements made to the assistant commissioner of police mentioned the name of the person, who is not Goddey or any of the comrades, who allegedly used a “charm” to injure the president.
Apparently, it was this ridiculous contradiction which made the University Management not to take the second batch of comrades to the Police Station after the Police in Osogbo had released the first batch of comrades on bail on account of having no evidence to support prosecution. Instead, they were detained at the University security post. When approached by DSM lawyers, the University management which had claimed the first batch of comrades were detained because they assaulted the Union president, quickly switched over to the face-saving but ridiculous argument that the second batch of comrades, some of whom with serious bodily injuries and in need of medical treatment, were only put in protective custody, albeit for more than 48 hours!
At present, a number of DSM comrades and members of other left organizations like COPY have been handed letters directing them to stay a way from the campus because, according to the letter signed by the Registrar of the institution, they “have been subject to threats of attack by unknown persons”!
This means that if the affected students could be physically assaulted or even killed by the “unknown persons”; it is not the headache of the university so long as it does not take place on the campus. All these shows the extreme desperation of the management to do anything, not matter how ridiculous, unintelligent or barbaric, to victimize socialist students in order to enjoy a leeway in attacks on welfare and learning conditions of students in the university..
However, the assailants of comrades are not unknown persons; they are storm troopers of the university authorities. The university authorities know them, and to put on record, the Democratic Socialist Movement has sent a petition to the Vice-Chancellor to make an official complaint over wanton destruction of the organizational and individual properties at its secretariat as well as physical assault on comrades. In this petition, as well as written and oral statements of comrades to police at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), the names of the assailants and arsonists were mentioned.
Also a comrade who had gone to campus on Thursday July 29 to see his course adviser over an examination he missed during the July 12 and 13 authorities-sponsored onslaughts, was picked up by the pro-management Students’ Union hooligans, beaten up and dumped at the university security post where he spent the night.
The university has taken this repressive measure in order to stifle open debate on the campus over its ignominious roles and those of its student henchmen and lap dogs in this crisis. After the release of the incarcerated comrades, comrades had returned to campus posting statements massively and initiating public agitations which exposed falsehood and barbarism of the management and its lickspittles in the students’ union leadership and thereby arousing the anger of the mass of students against them. Indeed, at one of such open debates addressed by Goddey, the Chief Security Officer of the university led security operatives of the university to arrest him but for the mass of students present who vehemently resisted the attempt. It is such growing radical mood against the management and moribund students’ union leadership that they intend to stem.
These open agitations had taken place in defiance and total disregard of the purported proscription of ideological organizations by the right-wing students union with the total blessing of the management whose principal officers were present at the gathering where the undemocratic and fascistic pronouncement was made.
It should be recalled that this is not the first time the university has been found culpable in the brutal attack on socialist and left activists who challenge their despotic administrative style and anti-student policies. On July 10, 1999, some campus cultists widely believed to have been sponsored by then vice-chancellor Wale Omole, stormed the university and killed Yemi Iwilade Afrika, then the Students’ Union secretary general, Tunde Oke, a DSM member, and three other students while numerous others were injured. The only differences now are that it is the Students’ Union leadership that has been employed to carry out the attack and so far nobody has been killed. Though, the cruel way Tunde Dairo was thrown down from a third storey shows that they did not care if any comrade had been killed or permanently deformed.
We therefore call on socialists, youths and trade union activists, nationally and internationally to send protests to the following university officials to end the attack on socialist students and recall the suspended student activist.
Professor Michael Faborode
+234 8088176332, +234 8033447446, +234 806009811
Prof. J. A Fabayo
Chairman, Security Committee
Please send copies of the letter to [email protected]