Nigerian students condemn ban on UNILAG Students’ Union


Students across Nigerian universities have condemned the temporary ban placed on the University of Lagos Students Union by the management of the school.

The management suspended the union following protests by students against poor welfare conditions in the school.

It was reported how the protesting students blocked major roads leading into the university, including access to the school’s Senate building and the Assembly Hall where Rahman Bello, the Vice Chancellor, was attending an event.

Armed police officers were later brought in to disperse the angry students. The university was also shut and students asked to go home.

The authorities later said students will sign undertakings to be of be good behaviour before the school is re-opened on May 2.

In a statement, the Public Relations Officer of the Students’ Union, Jumai fabuyi, said students should not sign the undertaking or pay any fee demanded by the management.

“As the management did not communicate with the UNION at all to deliberate or discuss the students’ welfare. We would NEVER agree to such,” he said.

He further queried the sincerity of the university management in asking students to sign the undertaking.

“Why should we sign a form to be readmitted? Don’t you smell a rat? Don’t you feel there might be more to the situation than we see?

“Why is the Union suspended? For staging a peaceful protest?” he asked rhetorically.

The Press Club of the university, which represents student journalists, had earlier described the actions of the management as undemocratic.

Femi Adeniji, the President of the Press Club said in a statement that the management’s actions do not address issues raised during the protests.

The Nigerian Campus Editors has also asked the university management to amicably resolve its grievances with the student leaders.

The editors made their stance known in a statement signed by the national secretary general, Abdulganiy Shehu, a student of the University of Ilorin, and national vice president, Chukwu Daniel, a student of the University of Lagos.

“We have noticed the sad situation in UNILAG. It is painful that in era of Democracy, the university management wants to ensure that students have no voice even as Democracy gives voice to
the voiceless.

“We call on the university management to give common sense a chance,” the campus editors said.

Another student leader at the University of Lagos said the suspension of the union would only take its activities underground.

Emmanuel Afolabi, the General Secretary of the Students’ Union said the union would continue its activities silently despite the ban.

In his reaction, a student activist from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Bamidele Williams, said the suspension is a slap on students’ struggle and should not be allowed to stay.

Authorities of the University of Lagos announced that students should resume on May 2 after signing the undertaking while examinations start a week later on May 9.


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