Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM


Education Rights Campaign (ERC) press statement


  • Release All Arrested Students
  • Meet All Students Demands and Reopen the University Now
  • For an Independent Probe Panel including Elected Representatives of Students and Staff Unions.

The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) demands the immediate reopening of the University of Uyo (UNIUYO), Akwa Ibom, and the meeting of all demands of students. Engineering students of the University of Uyo embarked on protest on Wednesday June 12 2013 against the introduction of extortionate fees, inadequate classrooms for lectures and a 100% hike in the fare of campus shuttle from N100 to N200.

The ERC condemn the brutal police attack on protesting UNIUYO students and the killing of Kingsley, a 200 level Kingsley student of the University. We place the responsibility for the killing on the shoulders of the UNIUYO management whose criminal, extortionate and anti-poor policies are the cause of the crisis.

Actually the UNIUYO management would not only have to take responsibility for the killing of Geofrey, they would also have to take responsibility for the death of four NANS (National Association of Nigerian Students) officials including the NANS Senate President Donald Onukaogu who died in a fatal auto accident while hurrying to the University to intervene in the crisis.

According to the Police, 45 students were arrested and are being detained. We demand the immediate and unconditional release of all arrested students. We also demand adequate compensation to the family of Kingsley killed by the police

We also call for the constitution of a democratic and independent probe panel including the elected representatives of students and staff unions to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the June 12 student protest, establish the culpability of the police in the killing of at least one protester, Kingsley, a 200 level Geology student, assess the alleged damage done to University property and also establish the roles played by the Vice Chancellor and other members of the University management.

The protest which started peacefully however turned violent after armed police shot live bullets and in the process killed at least one protester, Kingsley, a 200 level Geology student. In the process, some University properties were reportedly vandalised by some enraged crowd of students. While we in the ERC do not support violence as a means of struggle, in this particular case the violence that occurred was clearly provoked by the police who instead of treating students like human being shot at them like some wild beast. Moreover, this is not the first time the police have opened fire with live ammunition on unarmed protesting students. This year alone, nearly 10 students have been killed in similar circumstances. For instance on the 25th of February 2013, four students of Nasarawa State University were shot dead by police while protesting against power outage and inadequate water supply.

We call on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), education workers’ unions and civil society organisations not to be silent but to publicly condemn the police brutalisation and killing of students. It is worrisome that while the leadership of the NLC and TUC finds time to issue public statements on such irrelevant issues as Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) crisis, it does not remember to publicly stand for the right of students – the future workers of tomorrow!

We call on the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) to call and mobilise for a one-day national action involving lecture boycotts and mass demonstrations to protest against the increasing police brutality against students, to demand adequate punishment for police officers responsible for the killing of students and also to call for a holistic reform in the Nigerian Police Force that will include democratic control of the police by communities and the labour movement and improved pay and trade union rights for police men and women. Such a day of action will also provide the opportunity to boldly reject governments’ anti-poor capitalist education policies of fee hike and commercialisation which the generality of students across campuses nationwide are facing presently.

Hassan Taiwo Soweto

National Coordinator

[email protected]