Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

OAU Students Protest Death of a Colleague


The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) commiserates with students of Obafemi Awolowo University Ile Ife over the tragic death of Adesina Aishat, a final year student of Foreign Languages. We also send our condolences to the family of the deceased.

According to reports, Miss Aishat had been visiting the health centre of the university to complain about her poor health, but she wasn’t given the necessary drugs. It was gathered that the deceased was an asthmatic patient and while she was complaining of shortness of breath, the health officials only gave her anti-malarial and other drugs unrelated to her illness. It was only after her health condition had worsened and got out of hand that she was transferred to Seventh Day Adventist Hospital where she gave up the ghost.

Students protest at Adesina Aishat’s death and the poor medical facilities

For us in the Education Rights Campaign, ERC, the death of Aishat was avoidable and we hold the OAU management responsible for her death. Over the years, the school health centre has been starved of adequate medical facilities that are capable of responding to emergency situations and ensuring quality treatment while necessary drugs are unavailable. Many students have suffered different degrees of complicated health challenges due to the poor state of the health centre; only the lucky ones who survived lived to tell the sad tale. It is the height of irresponsibility and lack of concern for the lives of innocent students for a health centre meant to serve thousands of students and staff not to be well equipped with facilities to respond to emergency challenges and even enough medical staffs.

For us in the ERC, students must not only mourn the deceased student. Students must also embark on a series of peaceful action to seek justice for her death. While we are aware that a protest has been called by the union leadership, we demand that union leadership summons a congress of students to further discuss more actions to be done and draw out a list of demands. We do not agree with the leadership of the union that the university management alone should be tasked with investigating the circumstance surrounding Aishat’s death. It is our belief that the university management is culpable in this unfortunate loss and therefore it is doubtful the management will carry out a proper and sincere investigation. Instead, we need an investigation committee comprising representatives of students chosen through a congress and representatives of staff unions and professional bodies like NMA and NBA to investigate the issue.

Many students joined the protest

Students must also use this opportunity to demand an overhaul of the health centre as well as living and learning facilities and conditions. The deplorable conditions of student hostels and the life-threatening conditions students stating off-campus are subjected to must be addressed. Students must also include in their demand, a call on the government to properly fund the education and the democratic management of institution including elected representatives of students and staff, so that students are involved in the decision making process of the institution.

Ogunjimi Isaac

Deputy National Coordinator

Comrade Adaramoye Michael Lenin

Acting National Mobilization Officer

ERC email: [email protected]