THE Student Union Government (SUG) of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife has again reiterated her commitment to the reinstatement of some of the students and student leaders who were suspended by the management of the institution.
This was contained in a release signed by the political bureau 2008/2009 of the institution’s students union to welcome both freshers and returning students to a new academic session.
In the release, it was stated that about ten students and student leaders are recurrently under various forms of victimization for their principled defense of the collective interests of students.
The union also re-affirmed that the students are not criminals and have never been found guilty of any known offence, adding that the conscientious student activists are being victimized for defending the position of the union.
“We had earlier sought redress in the judiciary which, is supposed to be the last hope of the common man, but their unjust decisions confirm our position that the law is a mere reflection of the interest of the ruling class.
“We have defended the rights of our students to a conducive learning environment; we have resisted and shall continue to resist academic and political victimization, it is thus as a result of these courageous struggles that many of our students and union leaders face lingering political victimization.
Speaking on the independence of the union, it was stated that the union is the product of collective will of its members as it remains the only platform of defence against attacks on their collective rights.
“Freshmen, especially must know that regardless of the huge anti-union orientation and propaganda to which they must have been exposed, the union remains their only net of safety in perilous times.
“We do not consider government funding education as a privilege, indeed it is a right, this we have vowed, not to bear the burden of irresponsible governance and we shall maintain an unflinching no, to all forms of fee increment.
The union therefore urged both freshmen and stalites to participate in all activities to be rolled out geared towards propping up the collective consciousness of the stake-holders.
By DAPO AJISEGIRI