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5 September 2017
The Federal College of Agriculture (FCA), Moor Plantation, Ibadan, Oyo State, was shut down on Wednesday 23 August, 2017 by the Dr Babajide Adelekan-led administration of the college. This was immediately after students in the college resolved in their congress held on Tuesday, 22 August, 2017 to embark on a three-day peaceful mass action scheduled to commence on the same Wednesday, 23 August. The planned mass action was to protest against the prevailing poor welfare conditions in the college as well as the continuous refusal of the college administration, since the inception of new academic session in the college, to give students learning materials like lab coats, farm coats, log books and ID cards which they have actually paid for.
For over six weeks now, the poor welfare conditions under which mass of students in the college groan for a long time has gone from bad to worse. There has not been a supply of water and electricity to the hall of residence. The learning condition in the college has not fared better as the laboratory continues to be in a dilapidated condition. Practical materials are grossly inadequate, not even logbook to report practical activities. Consequently, many courses being offered in the college are currently unaccredited. This means that students currently studying the affected courses at the HND level will not be allowed to participate in the NYSC scheme after their graduation.
The ICT unit of the college is more or less an avenue through which the Dr Adelekan-led administration extorts and exploits the mass of students in the college. For instance, all students in the college were recently forced by the ICT unit to mandatorily pay additional fee of N600 for the re-registration of courses for the second semester after a huge sum of N6,600 was paid for the same purpose in the first semester.
Despite various pleas and discussions initiated by the leadership of the students' union with the college administration, there was no practical step taken by Dr Adelekan-led administration to ensure that the either the complaints or suffering of the students is looked into or ameliorated. It is in light of this the leadership of the students' union was compelled to convene a congress of the entire students where they resolved to embark on peaceful protest to express their displeasure and demand better living and learning conditions.
Unfortunately, instead of the Dr Adelekan-led administration creating an avenue for discussion with the leadership of the student union with a view to officially listen and address their demands, the administration wickedly shut down the college while students were forcefully asked go home. The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) condemns this reprehensible action of the management and urges the leadership of the students' union not to be deterred and weakened by the undemocratic and militaristic approach of the Dr. Adelekan led management.
Rather, the leadership of the student union should seize the opportunity of the period of the forced holiday to commence a serious media campaign with a view to build a public sympathy and support for all of the legitimate demands of the students while at the same time calling on parents and the general public to prevail on the Dr Adelekan-led administration to accede to all the demands of students including immediate re-opening of the college. We also call on workers and staff unions in the college to solidarise with students and support the demands.
It is our belief that behind the problem of poor welfare conditions and other related issues being faced by students is underfunding of the college side by side with corruption and mismanagement of the limited resources at the disposal of the management. This is why we are calling on the leadership of the students union to link their demands to struggle for adequate funding and democratic management of the public education.
To realize this task will mean that both workers and students in the college will have to be united in a struggle for adequate funding and democratic management of the college including the auditing of the financial activities of immediate past and present administrations of the college.
To Join ERC and participate in its activities call the following numbers: 08101671137; 07037415636 or email:email@example.com