Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

UNILAG: Authorities Set to Victimize Students’ Union Leaders and Activists Over April 6 – 7 Protest

UNILAG: Authorities Set to Victimize Students’ Union Leaders and Activists Over April 6 – 7 Protest

By Julius Samuel (Prakash) Coordinator, ERC, UNILAG Branch

The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) University of Lagos (UNILAG) condemns the on-going attempt to unjustly victimize student leaders and activists for participating in a peaceful protest against poor welfare conditions.

Recently, the university management set up a panel called “SPECIAL SENATE DISCIPLINARY PANEL ON THE RECENT STUDENTS PROTEST”. Over 22 students’ leaders and activists were invited to face the panel without being told their offense so as to enable them prepare their defense. This manner and nature of invitation clearly shows that the Prof Rahman Bello-led administration is up to something fishy.

The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) strongly condemns this despotic violation of human rights being perpetrated by the university management against UNILAG students. We demand a halt to the attempt to victimize the students’ leaders and withdrawal of the trumped up charges. We also demand restoration of the Students Union and respect of students’ democratic right to freedom of association and expression.

It will be recalled that the students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) went on protest on the 6th and 7th of April 2016 to protest against hike in prices of commodities on campus, epileptic power supply despite the use of diesel powered generators, lack of sachet water, lack of regular and portable water supply, non-availability of adequate bed spaces, amongst other welfare and academic issues. It is no news that the management blackmailed these legitimate demands of students and as was expected, it led to the undemocratic suspension of the union (ULSU) and the enslavement warrant called undertaking and indemnity form which students were forced to sign before they gained entrance into examination halls and halls of residence. Uptill now, none of the issues for which students protested have been resolved.

It is unfortunate that despite this injustice already perpetrated against UNILAG students, the management has again concluded plans to further punish and victimize students’ leaders and activists that participated in the peaceful protest. The alleged accusations against these students’ leaders are laughable and baseless. Hence, the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) calls on ASUU, SSANU, NASU, the NLC and the entire students’ population to intervene against this injustice meted to UNILAG students.