INDEPENDENCE: THE HALLMARK OF VIRILE UNIONISM

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The following statement is the text of public statement to OAU student by Marxist students’ activists in that campus.

 

“If a man sleeps too much, he would definitely forget his dreams.”

It is delightful to have a break of few weeks after a stressful Harmattan semester. Thus, you are welcome back, the ever-militant Army of courage. Having defied all subtle efforts to subdue our ‘consciousness’ by University administration under Prof. Michael Faborode cum lukewarm attitude of Union executives, there is need to commend the resilience and militancy of entire Great Ife students. Without much ado, there is need to reflect on some major events that happened last semester, because those who forget their past have consciously mortgaged their future.

 

Reminiscence of Harmattan semester

Firstly, there was an accommodation problem. A lot of freshers were not allocated while some final students were given upper/flying space, thereby necessitating lobby that gave rise to exploitation. Also, the university administration deliberately tried to frustrate and demobilize students from hostels by not allocating Awo block 1-4 under the guise of re-painting that never completed till the end of the semester. What is amazing was those blocks were allocated just two days after Prof. Faborode visited Awo hall, which was four days to the end of the semester. What a vindication of our earlier claims!

Secondly, it is indeed saddening to learn that the university management subjected OAU students to unpalatable sufferings for about two weeks. During the period, OAU students were forced to fetch water from streams. Some did go to lecture rooms without taking their bath; the few whose health conditions could not sustain it did take bath with sachet water, whilst students resorted to “shot-put” toilets because of the unhygienic state of toilets. Indeed, how can one explain the rationale behind cutting water supply by the university management, under the guise of dam expansion, without any palliative measure?

To paint the picture of the worst scenario, there was leadership tussle among the self-serving student union executives. There were allegations and counter-allegations of fraud and misappropriation. Instead of organizing students and defending the union, they were pre-occupied with settlement of cheap political scores.

Welfare conditions

Now, all state governments and their evil-appendages (VCs inclusive) are crying foul of reduction of subvention due to global economic meltdown, one can categorically state that average Nigerians never enjoyed the boom. Why must they endure the slump? ‘He who chop alone must die alone’ is a common slogan. Only the ruling oligarchy benefited from the oil boom, the Nigerian masses cannot be fooled to bear the brunt. Enough of sucking blood from stone! .Therefore, the mass of Great Ife students are calling on the University administration to be alive for her fundamental responsibilities. Mr. VC, toilets in all halls of residences are in bad state. Awo block 1, 2, 3 and 4 need more than ‘cosmetic-painting’. The library needs to be equipped with modern facilities. You need to construct more hostels accommodation, with University resources, because of the alarming rate of robbery and cult-like activities in town. We need non-epileptic electricity supply and portable water to survive on campus. Our campus must not be beautified with dirty environment and over-grown lawn. STOP CHASING SHADOW!

Victimization of our principled Leaders

Peace cannot reign, where there is injustice and fundamental human rights are being trampled upon. It is a mere hypocrisy for the University authorities to state and jubilate that last semester was ‘hitch-free’. It is only individuals, whose senses of reasoning have been beclouded by emotions, who celebrate peace where injustice reigns. We actually commend the efforts of some union leaders for reinstatement of some unjustly victimized union leaders but all Glory to the ALMIGHTY DOGGEDNESS of Great Ife students for the concessions. However, the reinstatement remains partial until Akinola Saburi and Ogumah Andrew Segun (Karl Mark) are fully reinstated. They must not be kept outside for too long on the ground of trump-up charges.

Way Forward: Our resumption for call for action!

The Nigerian state is in serious crises because of self-inflicted greed of the ruling cabals. There is need for concerted efforts by Nigerian working class and students to savage the future. Hence, it is incumbent upon every conscious OAU students to work for the independence of the Union because there lays our strength to fight against the obnoxious policies and agenda of the University management.

The University authorities should desist from self-delusion, that there would be peace if the welfare conditions are not improved and culture of victimization of students who dare stand for justice and resist imposition of subservient union. The Union excos should stop deviating from their statutorily functions. Consequently, the entire Great Ife students should rise to the teething challenges facing the Union by fulfilling the historical task of making the union independent. This semester, we must rally round our union excos, support all union programs and participate in all political actions. Our ALUTA, which made the VC and Governing council to grant the minimal concession, can ensure the unconditional reinstatement of Akinola Saburi and Ogumah Andrew Segun, among other legitimate demands.