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Friday, September 23, 2016

JOINT PRESS RELEASE OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIAN STUDENTS (NANS) ZONE D (SOUTH WEST), NANS JCC LAGOS AXIS, AND THE UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS STUDENTS UNION (ULSU) ON THE RECENT RUSTICATION OF STUDENT LEADERS IN THE UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS BECAUSE OF A UNION-LED PROTEST

Friday 23rd September, 2016.

Gentlemen of the Press.

You are welcome to this Press Conference on the rustication of students and some leaders in the University of Lagos.

The University of Lagos (UNILAG) management recently issued letters of rustication to some leaders of the University of Lagos Students’ Union (ULSU) who led the April 2016 ULSU Protest in UNILAG and other students who were part of the protest.

It is very surprising and at the same time unfortunate to read in the media the claims of UNILAG management that the student involved were not suspended because of the protest. Yet the University management has not tell us reasons for their ugly action rather they keep attacking Union leaders and innocent Students.
It is on this note that we have decided to gathered ourselves to let Nigerians, Government and the world know the true story and to also call on well meaning Nigerians to Save our Future. The future is blinking.

Gentle men of the Press, you will recall that ULSU led a protest in April concerning some welfare issues that students of UNILAG were facing. The protest was because of issues like Water scarcity (both sachet water and for domestic use), Hike in prices of commodities, Pre-requisite, Power/Generators, Accommodation, Sports Centre, and Ambulance among others. The fact is that all the demands are still unaddressed by the management rather they keep pursing shadows.

This same protest led to the unlawful suspension of the Union by the school management; they did not give any cogent reason for the suspension, instead, they gave the excuse that they want to review the Union’s Constitution when there is an already laid down procedure for that in the Constitution. University of Lagos has turned to a battle ground and this is the work of the management.

They did not stop there, they also invited the concerned Students to a Disciplinary Panel(SDC) without revealing the allegations that they have against them. When the students asked questions and demanded that the management respect their rights as students, they eventually sent the allegations, some of which include:

1.Declaring a Protest without Congress approval
2.Locking of School gates
3.Locking of the Dean of Students Affairs office
4.Disruption of Classes
5. Invading the premises of UNILAG Ventures
5. Disturbing Peace and for Femi Adeyeye, posting an article on Social Media to criticise the University management, among other ridiculous allegations.

We must inform you that none of these allegations have proof; they do not have anything to support or back up their claims, not even witnesses. The Disciplinary Panel, led by Prof. P.K. Fogam–a Professor of Law, sat and concluded on their recommendation and punishment without proof; even when some of the concerned students requested for proof, they failed to provide. We have copies of the allegations and copies of the rustication letters that stated the offences that they said they found the students guilty of. What a conspiracy?

When the school management released a statement on the rustication, they said that they did not rusticate any student because of the Protest, but every of these allegations has to do with Protest, so we wonder why the UNILAG management prefer to lie to the general public instead of telling the public the true story.

Gentle men of the Press, the UNILAG management have been telling lies about ULSU and its leaders since the protest was staged in April; they said that some students vandalised properties during the protest, they said that some students invaded UNILAG Ventures and carted away products among many other ridiculous allegations. All these to cover up for their lapses and paint the Union black to the public, because these allegations are unfounded – the management cannot prove them.

They have now rusticated students and student leaders for between 2 and 4 semesters because ULSU asked them to attend to students’ welfare matters, and because they were asked to respect the fact that students have rights, they see these actions as a challenge to them.

The students have done nothing other than a protest; the UNILAG management even confirmed the fact that the concerned students are being rusticated because of the protest in their letter of rustication as you can see here, so we do not understand why they have to lie to the public.

This is why we have decided to tell the public the true story; to call on well meaning Nigerians to save our future, to help us ask the UNILAG management whether it is a crime to protest in Nigeria, to help us tell them to stop oppressing students.

Students are not slaves, students are not subjects, and students have rights too. This oppression is getting so unbearable; the policies of some schools’ management are now life threatening, students are seriously choking; they are not treating us well.

Our Demands:
1.The immediate reinstatement of the rusticated students and student leaders.
2.The immediate restoration of the Students’ Union in UNILAG.
3.That the UNILAG management should attend to all welfare matters raised by the Union during the said Protest.

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Zone D (South West) and NANS JCC Lagos Axis are hereby giving the UNILAG Management a 3 Day ultimatum to reverse the rustication of these students and restore the Students’ Union, failure of which we shall move the Zonal Secretariat of NANS down to UNILAG, mobilise students from schools in the South West region and converge to shut down UNILAG. If the UNILAG Management will not yield to our voices, then they shall be compelled to do the needful.

Thank you very much.
Aluta Continua!
Victoria Ascerta!
God Bless Nigeria!

Signed:
Comr. Ogunsola Okikiola (Okiki Aluta)
Chairman, NANS Zone D

Comr. Awowole Samuel (Awo Sam)
P.R.O, NANS Zone D

Comr. Samson Moses (SMS)
Chairman, NANS JCC Lagos Axis.

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