In reality, July 10 is a historic day within the historical past of the College as an entire. It’s important as a result of it was a day the scholars’ group collectively launched a marketing campaign in opposition to cultism. As opined by Thomas Jefferson in his letter to William S. Smith, a diplomatic official in London on November 13, 1787, he mentioned “the tree or liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of Patriots and tyrants; it is its natural manure.” However, it’s heartbreaking that George Yemi Iwilade (Afrika), Efe Ekpede, Babatunde Oke (Sabo), Eviano Ekelemu and Yemi Ajiteru in sizzling blood sacrifice paid the final word worth of freedom for everybody within the College on this very day at their early stage in life. It turns into expedient for everybody of us as members of the College group to notice that the bloodbath of OAU5 on the wake of July 10, 1999 performed a job in enshrining our group with the Aristocracy and security that’s immediately cherished by every and everybody of us.
It’s unlucky to notice that neo-fascism is step by step discovering its means into the College group and the administration will be mentioned to be culpable on account of the continual and frequent clampdown on college students’ unionism which has turn into the order of the day within the College. To the administration, the suspension of scholars’ union actions is a means of curbing the ‘uncivilized’ actions of scholars, however, it’s really a means of strengthening cultism as a result of, the Union is anticipated to combat cultism to a standstill whereas organising sensitisation programmes for college kids which is supposed to empower them with the rudiments of management.
There isn’t any gainsaying in the truth that within the western world, no College is full with no virile and vibrant college students’ union. As a matter of reality, in the UK, the scholars’ union is the incubator from the place future political leaders are produced. It’s on report that Harold Macmillan, Harold Wilson and Ted Heath who had been Prime Ministers of the UK at one time or the opposite had been college students’ union Presidents throughout their days at Oxford College. In most Universities within the western world, the legal guidelines governing them enable for the participation of the scholars within the governance of the Universities. An ideal instance is what’s obtainable on the College of Western Australia in Perth, Australia, Fort Hare College in South Africa and College of Guelph in Ontario Canada, college students are usually not solely members of the statutory committees of the Universities however they’re represented within the governing councils by the Presidents of the scholars’ unions.
Nonetheless, reverse is the case right here in Nigeria as we’ve got a College construction that doesn’t give room for the illustration of scholars of their policy-making processes. Sadly, we’ve got College managements that believes that the continual and frequent suspension of scholars’ union actions is the panacea to the various crises the scholars are battling with amongst themselves. Till managements of tertiary establishments eliminate this thought and respect college students’ rights whereas taking their views with all seriousness, this nation wouldn’t get it proper.
You will need to remind the College administration as soon as once more that the continued suspension of Union actions on campus is a derogation of their godly and Constitutionally acknowledged Proper to Freedom of Affiliation and Meeting which derogation is a violation and an assault on the provisions of Article 9, 10 and 11 of the African Constitution on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, 1981 a Treaty-turned-Act which doesn’t accommodate derogation in any type and Part 40 of the Structure of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended). As a matter of reality, based mostly on the authority of the Supreme Courtroom in Abacha V. Gani Fawehinmi and different plethora of instances, you can not discover any justifiable protection both within the provisions on derogation, Part 45 of the Structure of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended) or within the powers conferred on the College administration, Part 34 and different related provisions of the College of Ife Legislation 1970 and Obafemi Awolowo College (Transitional Provisions) Act 1975 due to the doctrine of pacta sunt servanda.
It can’t be over-emphasised that the essence of scholars’ unionism on campus is to guard the pursuits of scholars and convey about radical change by persistently partaking these within the place of authority whereas proffering way-forwards to societal ills and most significantly, demanding for the correct funding of the academic sector, however, reverse is the case within the College immediately as the scholars have been denied their proper to freely assemble for shut to 2 years now. With this, the College administration have proven to be poking a finger within the eye of the legislation which ordinarily shouldn’t be witnessed in a setting like ours.
Right now, what Afrika and the opposite four individuals had been brutally murdered for is step by step resurfacing within the College group and this can’t be unconnected from the absence of a coordinated college students’ union. In strengthening the long run, college students have to be allowed to maintain the legacy of zero-tolerance for cultism and this can’t be carried out with no college students’ union. The popularity of this present day by the administration to the extent of organising a programme in its honour is commendable however the administration want to indicate sincerity by taking a step additional and this may solely be carried out by restoring the College students’ Union with speedy impact.
Although, I’m not unaware of the steps being taken by the College administration in direction of restoration of the College students’ Union, it is necessary for the administration to be reminded that dedication want be proven in direction of this if actually the administration is anxious about securing the way forward for each pupil and the College itself. The delay in restoring the Union is completely pointless and, in having a accountable college students’ group, the administration should not be seen supporting or aiding a Union administration that promotes violence and intolerance amongst college students as was witnessed over the past Union administration.
Kazeem Olalekan Israel (GANI) is a closing yr Political Science pupil of Obafemi Awolowo College, Ile-Ife.
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