OOU: NANS Mobilises for Protest Over SUG Election Crisis
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has commenced mobilisation of its members for a mass action on Monday at Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) over alleged attempt by the management of the university to subvert the process of conducting peaceful and hitch-free Students Union Government (SUG) election.
NANS Joint Campus Committee (NANS JCC) in Ogun State, while expressing disappointment over the surreptitious action of the management of the university to cause avoidable crisis by unnecessary meddlesomeness in the electoral process, said the vice-chancellor and management of the university should be held responsible for whatever action the aggrieved students might take.
In a statement made available to newsmen on Friday in Abuja, NANS maintained its unwavering commitment to justice and democracy within Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU).
“NANS Ogun Axis hereby declares Monday, September 18, 2023, as the commencement of mass action until the school management concedes to our just demands,” it stated.
The statement was jointly signed by Comrade Adeyanju Oluwafemi chairman, National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS Joint Campus Committee (JCC) Ogun Axis, Comrade Ogunrombi, Oluwagbemileke, National President, National Association of Ogun State Students, NAOSS National Secretariat; Comrade Okereafor Bestman, National President, Progressive Students Movement (PSM), Comrade Olufem; Owoeye, Secretary, NANS, Ogun Axis, and Comrade Sodiq Hassan, Public Relations Officer, NANS Ogun Axis.
NANS said it was disturbed by the recent developments which had exposed a troubling disregard for the rights and voices of students at OOU, and that students had been compelled to address this issue with unwavering determination.
The students had earlier rejected the electoral committee set up by the vice-chancellor of the university on the grounds that the committee was an imposition and that the selection for the electoral committee, was in clear violation of the constitution.
“Let it be unequivocally clear that it is the ‘Students Union,’ not the ‘Management Union’. The OOU school management must uphold the fundamental principles of democracy, which include allowing students to manage their own affairs without undue interference.
“We refuse to accept the continued oppression of students by those who believe they can dictate terms to the Students Union,” NANS stated.
The students added: “In response to our previous press release, we have noted the efforts of a few individuals recruited by the Vice-Chancellor to undermine the commendable decisions of NANS.
“We wish to caution these individuals that they are pawns in a game that does not serve the interests of the students. When their purpose is served, they will be discarded.
“We implore them not to jeopardize their own future by engaging in this fruitless mission. History has shown that those who stand against public interest without recompense often find themselves abandoned by their sponsors when the repercussions come knocking.
“To the OOU management, we reiterate that democracy thrives on the voices and choices of the people it governs. We call on you to respect the rights of the students and adhere to democratic norms. It is in the best interest of all stakeholders to ensure that justice prevails.
“We are not alone in this fight. We have received resounding solidarity and support from other campuses and student bodies who are equally committed to the cause of justice and democracy.
“Our numbers are growing, and we are united in our determination to put an end to this injustice.
“We want to send a crystal clear message: if the OOU school management does not heed our call and continues to infringe upon the democratic rights of students, we will not hesitate to take mass action. We are prepared to take our message to the streets, to the public eye, and to every corner of OOU and beyond.
“It is high time we remind the management that we are the Students Union, and we are determined to make our voices heard. Business as usual is not an option, and we will not rest until justice prevails,” NANS stated.