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Socialist Democracy Aug - Sept 2005

 

OAU STUDENTS´┐Ż UNION ELECTION

Right Wing Elements Emerge Winners

By Kola Ibraheem

Tuesday, 16th of August, 2005 will serve as another reference day in the history of Awovarsity Students' Union with the emergence of an ultra-right elements in almost all the offices of the union in the just concluded election of the union, despite the presence of a radical alternative.

The reactionary trend that emerged victorious in the election symbolised all shades of reactionary elements within the campus - the neo-conservative religious demagogues, the conscious reactionary elements, the degenerate ex-activists, dubious elements, neo-fascist/cultist groups, etc, and with the direct and open support from the university authorities.

The OAU branch of DSM presented 3 candidates for the election -Wale Eleto (President), Lanre Fatai (Public Relations Officer) and Ibrahim Adesina Energy (Welfare Officer). Despite the overwhelming popularity and general acceptance of their competence, the three candidates scored 706 votes (about 20% of total votes), 1867 (about 35% of total votes) and 506 votes (about 15% of the total votes) respectively.

The election came in a period of high level of reactionary mood ultimately occassioned by the various defeats and management attacks the students have witnessed in the recent past struggles, most especially the November 3, 2004 struggle in which a student, Rasheed Laketu was murdered by the mobile policemen and the campus closed down for three months. We had forewarned that the anarchistic, unproductive, morally-unappealing tactics adopted by the ex-stalinist and the anarcho-communist elements (who then were in the leadership of the struggle) could draw back the consciousness of students (who have been sent home for months), which will definitely create room for the emergence of all shades of reactionary, neo-conservative trends.

We maintained then, that despite the genuineness of the students' demands and struggle, the anarchistic tactics of resulting to attack on individuals could provide moral excuse for a dying management to recover. Today, we have been vindicated by the course of events with the emergence of reactionary trend who campaigned and won on the programmes of peace and no more closure. Even, despite all attempts by the pseudo-progressive trends to blackmail us with the struggle in order to pose as real moderate alternative in the election, their past could not leave them like shadow and they also lost the two offices they vied for - presidency and office of the public relations in the election.

Aside the historic role of the pseudo-radical elements in mobilising reaction, they also played a conscious role in creating avenues for the emergence of the conservative trend. They deliberately fielded candidates to break the votes from conscious layer for our candidates, yet they knew they could not have won the election. This is aside from the open campaign they conducted against us during the election blackmailing us as agents of the authorities a just because of our genuine positions on the November 3, 2004 struggle.

Nonetheless, the election reveals the strength of our ideas among the most radical section of the students. Despite the terrible reactionary mood, the over a thousand votes we received is a direct acceptance of our ideas by the genuine radical minds on campus. We shall work towards recruiting the best elements among them into our fold in the coming period through public political activities and campaigns.

On a final note, the election expresses the degree of fear the conservative trend and the management have for us as the only radical alternative on the campus. The direct involvement of the management in the victory of reaction also reflects the rabid intent of the university management to introduce obnoxious policies of hostel privatisation/commercialisation, which are already being mouthed by the rightists contestants during campaign; aside other nefarious policies and attacks on the way.

Consequently, we enjoin all students to prepare their arsenal in the coming period in defending the union against any attack or degeneration from any quarter because the students' union is a major platform for students to oppose any attack and champion their interests. Students must be prepared to oppose any anti-students' policy in the coming period irrespective of the kind of union leadership. Students should not blackmail themselves on the issue of school closure, the direct culprit is the management that introduces anti-students, provocative policies, added with its high-handed manner of running school. On the final analysis, when students are attacked, they will respond one way or the other depending on the character of the union leadership and the manner of guiding students' angers.

As for us in the DSM, we shall always campaign against any attempt to turn the union to appendage of the authorities and the state.

We shall continue to agitate, campaign and lead students in demanding for better living and studying conditions conducive for learning, we shall defend the education rights of students. We shall continue our campaign against education commercialisation and privatisation and campaign for proper funding of the education sector and democratic management of our school to include students' and staff unions.

Finally, we want to state that the problems confronting the education sector, the problem of authorities interference in students' union activities and the problem of conservative leadership are products of the pro-imperialist, neo-colonial capitalist government and system of the day which prioritize interests of the few and want to impose its rules on the toiling and working masses at all levels despite its decadence and inability to move the society forward. Until we all join forces together to create a political platform to fight for a just society where the need of the people will be the basis of production, distribution and governance - socialist society, we will continue to witness the decadence in the education system.

 

 

Socialist Democracy Aug - Sept 2005