THE authority of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) had been warned to desist from victimizing some student union leaders and activists, so as not to destroy the existing peace between the union and the school management.
This was stated by Comrade Aremu Abiodun, a human rights activist, while speaking at a symposium organized by the Student Union Government (SUG) of the institution, adding that the right of the students should not be shortchanged for any reason.
Speaking at the symposium held at the Amphi- theater hall of the institution, Comrade Aremu stated that about ten student activists have been victimized by the university authority. Aremu, who is also the Executive Secretary, Labour and Civil Societies Coalition (LACSO) argued that the expulsion of the union leaders and activists is a way of denying the students their right place in the Nigeria education sector. He added that all students on expulsion should be reinstated back in the interest of justice, as their expulsion, arrest and sometimes detention will lead to further decadence in the education sector.
Pleading for the reinstatement of the expelled students, Comrade Aremu urged the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the institution, Professor Michael Faborode to settle the misunderstanding between the students and the management amicably, adding that if proper care is not taken, it may lead to another round of protest.
“I am formally requesting for the reinstatement of the expelled students all in the interest of peace and justice, because the students, are ready to dialogue with the management of the institution”.
Also speaking at the symposium, the former president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) of the institution, Dr. Dipo Fasina urged both the fresh students and the stalites to join hands with their executive, to fight the recent injustice faced by the expelled students.
Fasina added that the only way to encourage the expelled students is that the incumbent executives must try everything possible to fight for their reinstatement.
Replying to the allegation, the VC stated that the management is not victimizing any student activist or leader, but only that they are facing the consequence of their action by disturbing the peace of the institution.
Faborode clearly stated that the students request can not be granted as some of the student leaders have made up their mind not to come back as student in the institution. He reiterated the management position about the issue saying “there is no misunderstanding between us, all I know is that the schools decision is the final, in short all of them cannot be reinstated.
By DAPO AJISEGIRI