Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM)

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Students


18 October 2017

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CONTINUOUS PROSCRIPTION OF UI STUDENTS' UNION IS UNDEMOCRATIC AND A PLOY TO DEEPEN ATTACKS ON STUDENTS COME NEXT SESSION!

There is a need for an effort to initiate a campaign for the reinstatement of the union, halting victimisation of activists and improvement in welfare conditions on campus now!!

The Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) University of Ibadan branch welcomes the entire students of our great university back on campus after a long and protracted holiday largely occasioned by the 38 days indefinite strike embarked upon by members of the Academic Staff Union of universities (ASUU), to protest against the refusal of the federal government to honour the agreement signed with the union since 2009 as well as the Memorandum of understanding MOU reached at the head of a similar struggle waged in 2013.

It is barely three weeks now that the university was officially reopened for the commencement of academic activities for the second semester of the 2016/2017 academic session, yet there continue to be a suspicious silence over the proscription of the students' union activities and denial of accessibility to the students' union building for the use of the union both on the side of the Prof.Idowu Olayinka-led administration of the university and the Ojo Aderemi-led leadership of the students' union.

DSM frowns at this kind of silence and believes that it is high time the Ojo Aderemi-led exco and his counterpart at the SRC come out clearly with a position. DSM calls for an immediate convocation of a joint meeting of members of the executive, legislative and leaders of the union at other levels including student activists to review the last struggle to draw out its gains, mistakes and lessons. This should be with a view to agree on some activities and programmes to initiate a mass based campaign and agitations for the restoration of the union and improvement in both the living and learning condition on campus.

The most important among the activities and programmes expected to be undertaken at this moment is the need for the leadership of the union to issue out a statement to welcome students back on campus and give them an update on a series of events that have developed since the suspension of the struggle and now. This kind of statement can also be used to begin the process of preparing the mind of students for other activities and programmes like public symposium, congress which has to be carried out by the union to force its legitimacy on campus.

Except this kind of step is urgently taken you can be rest assure that Prof. Olayinka-led administration of the university will not only continue to be silent over the arbitrary proscription of the union but it will sooner or later begin to take more repressive measures beyond mere issuance of queries to student leaders in the coming period. Inevitably, some of these repressive measures will definitely be undertaken to forestall any further agitation for the restoration of the students union especially when there are ranges of insinuations that the continous silence on the proscription of the union is a ploy by the university administration to ensure that students are denied veritable platform of agitation comes next academic session when it allegedly plans to hike the school fees.

Therefore, to defeat this plan also means that the rank and file members of our union must also be willing and ready to play an active role not only by being actively involved and participating in any action or programme organised by the leadership of the union but also be ready to prevail on the union leaders in ensuring that some of the highlighted activities proposed above is being carried out by them.

DSM believes that all of these proposed activities must also include a conscious appeal to the workers union (ASUU, SSANU, NASU and NAAT) on campus for solidarity action. This is very important especially when a union like ASUU, has allegedly taken a commendable independent initiative by writing a letter to the university administration to express its displeasure over the queries issued to tens of student leaders for the mere fact that they participated in the May 29, 2017 peaceful protest in which there was no documented record of destruction of property

The earlier these proposed activities are being carried out the better it is for the aspiration for the restoration of the union, especially when the next senate meeting of the university is scheduled to hold on the 18th October, 2017. Past experience had shown that with a well-co-ordinated campaign and agitation, it is possible to force the senate to set in motion the process to reverse embargo placed on the activities of the student union as well as the use of students' union building while all queries given to students leaders including Ojo Aderemi for the role they played in the May 29th, 2017 peaceful protest against the failure of the university administration to provide students with valid school ID card can be made null and void.

Against this background, DSM hereby expresses its readiness and wiliness to always participate either as an independent political organisation or in collaboration with groups of students including worker unions in the struggle for the restoration of the independent student unionism on campus as well as other legitimate aspiration of both students and workers on campus.

Ogunjinmi Isaac
UI Branch Secretary
E-Mail: socialistmovement471@gmail.com