UISU SPECIAL RELEASE 083
Kunle Adepeju Building, UI.
Democracy Day Message
We Ought to Celebrate Democracy but we have no reasons to:
On 29th of May, 1999, Democracy was reestablished in Nigeria but it is unfortunate that while it is progressing in other jurisdictions, it is deteriorating and often mocked in Nigeria. We appreciate it’s existence but the Union is sad at the manner of its practice.
The state of education in our country is in a pitiable condition. While Academic and Non Academic Staffs rightly go on different industrial actions, the Government has failed to take the sector absolutely important. Schools and Universities are largely underfunded and the rate of out-of-school Nigerians is increasing. School fees are being increased year in year out across board and education is largely becoming a business of the rich.
The state of economy is not encouraging for our students across the country as the prices of basic commodities are increasing hourly. Our parents are finding it hard to sponsor their wards to school and our independent students now find it hard to eat not to talk of paying levies. It is only a happy man that celebrates, we are not happy and we won’t celebrate.
The killing of Nigerian Students in the country is not forgivable but increasing at an alarming rate. Our students are being kidnapped and made to pay ransoms. One specific example was the kidnapping of a released University of Ibadan Student, Odetunde Emmanuel. The kidnappers of Emmanuel are yet to be arrested and no form of compensation has been given to the victim and his family. The country is not safe any longer for our students to travel across the country.
The Students’ Union of the University of Ibadan, will like to state assertively, our complete dissatisfaction of the disposition of the Federal Government towards the expression of rights of her citizens as enshrined in Chapter 3 of the 1999 Constitution. The reactions of the Government towards protests, freedom of expression and the present ban of Twitter has only confirmed the dictatorial tendencies of the government. Protection and assurance of Human Rights are the Hallmarks of democracy and if that is not present, there is indeed no democracy to celebrate. We hereby call for the immediate lifting of ban on Twitter and a more civil approach towards protests and agitation.
Moreso, the Union decries the absence of democratic approaches in many of our institutions, especially in the dealings with Students’ Unions. Any system that is not opened and unwelcoming to a pressure group is a mockery of democracy. On this note, we call for the immediate reinstatement of all proscribed Students’ Unions in respective Institutions in Nigeria and the reinstatement of our own Ojo Aderemi of the University of Ibadan. We also demand full independence of the Union as it exists with other Labour Unions on campus. We should not be tyrants in our schools and democrats in the public.
On a final note, the Union would like to show our full solidarity to our colleagues that are expressing their Fundamental Human Rights anywhere in Nigeria. However, we urge everyone to do so within the provisions of law and be civil in all their approaches. More so, we urge all our students to stay safe and be vigilant.
Akeju Olusegun G.
University of Ibadan Students’ Union President
Oladeji Olawunmi Abiodun
University of Ibadan Students’ Union Public Relations Officer
UISU SPECIAL RELEASE 083