A group of students of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, has strongly objected to the invitation of some politicians to a symposium on the campus on June 12 by the Students Union, saying that union has historically fought against, rather than celebrated, politicians who have contributed to the ruining of the education sector and the country.

In a statement on Wednesday, the students named the invited politicians as: Lasun Yusuf (Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives), Mudashiru Obasa (Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly), and Najeem Salaam (Speaker, Osun State House of Assembly).

“It is shocking and ridiculous to add that such individuals are invited to give a lecture on democracy,” the statement said.  “These are politicians that have contributed nothing to the fight for democracy but have continued, through their actions, to destroy democracy.”

It dismissed the invitees as members of the ruling class that have denied Nigerians their rights while correspondingly enriching their pockets. 

“We are very such aware of the pains of our parents who have been deprived payment of the reward of their labor by these politicians. These politicians owe our parents backlogs of salaries. Also, we are aware of the pitiable state that this ruling class has thrown the education sector into. We do not and can never welcome these intellectual miscreants to teach us what democracy is. The union is meant to be a platform for students to agitate against the ridiculous insanities obtainable in Nigeria and not to celebrate people who have destroyed and are destroying the Nation.”

Text of the statement:

CONCERNED GREAT IFE STUDENTS

RE: STUDENTS’ UNION ORGANIZED MONEY-MAKING SYMPOSIUM

RT. HON LASUN YUSUF, RT. HON MUDASHIRU OBASA, RT. HON NAJEEM SALAAM AND OTHER POLITICIANS ARE NOT WELCOME ON OAU SOIL

Concerned students of Great Ife condemn the invitation of some politicians with questionable characters by the union leadership to a June 12 symposium. By tradition and principle, Great Ife Students’ union does not celebrate politicians who have contributed immensely to the ruins in the education sector and the Nigerian society as a whole. Thus, Lasun Yusuf (Deputy Speaker, National House of Representatives), Mudashiru Obasa (Speaker, Lagos state House of Assembly), Najeem Salaam (Speaker, Osun State House of Assembly) are not welcome on our soil.

It is shocking and ridiculous to add that such individuals are invited to give a lecture on democracy. These are politicians that have contributed nothing to the fight for democracy but have continued, through their actions, to destroy democracy.Again, these politicians are members of the ruling class that have denied Nigerians their right and have correspondingly enriched their pockets. We are very such aware of the pains of our parents who have been deprived payment of the reward of their labor by these politicians. These politicians owe our parents backlogs of salaries. Also, we are aware of the pitiable state that this ruling class has thrown the education sector into. We do not and can never welcome these intellectual miscreants to teach us what democracy is. The union is meant to be a platform for students to agitate against the ridiculous insanities obtainable in Nigeria and not to celebrate people who have destroyed and are destroying the Nation.

The Great Ife Union has a radical history of fighting against these politicians and agitating, uncompromisingly, that they should be rightly sent to their well-deserved jail.It is, however, painful and lamentable that this same union is exalting these politicians that are accountable for the plights of our fellow Nigerians. Of course, the current leadership of the union is obviously mortgaging our future by inviting these intellectual miscreants to come and discuss with us lessons we should draw from June 12 struggles. This is a clear case of contradiction on the part of the current union leaders. They must immediately desist from such wanton character as great Ife students will never welcome these politicians. Importantly, any attempt to breach our uncompromising stance by these politicians would be met by our unbending resistance. In 2014, we resisted and protested the presence of the former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, despite not being invited by our union. We are unrepentant and ready to feed these politicians this meal, and with agility and joy we shall protect our land.

Again, most importantly, it should seriously be noted, at this critical period in the history of our Students’ Union, that June 12 is always taken as a day of sober reflections for great Ife students to discuss and take positions on the current economic and political recessions forced on all of us by these same politicians who would do anything possible to enslave our parents, while corruption and looting of these politicians are showing by the political indices driving us to irreversible mass miseries. June 12 can only be celebrated by organizing a symposium or public lecture, bringing on board those who have been identifying with our struggles for emancipation but not politicians who are the contributors to our academic sorrow. We can only welcome activists who have one time or the other supported our course and they are still supporting us. June 12 is always an avenue or platform to brainstorm with other activists, civil society organizations, to organize a mass based struggle for proper funding of education sector, full and immediate payment of our parents’ salaries and for at least #56,000 living wage for our parents. This has always been the meaning we draw from June 12 programs.

June 12 remains a wake-up call for all unions to organize and fight the ruling circle to meet the demands of students and workers. Our union should join others to use this historical occasion to expose the failure of the APC – led government and compel them to save the country from economic ruins but not to invite these same politicians to our campus for their political campaigns.

Signed:

CONCERNED GREAT IFE STUDENTS

Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-IfeObafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife

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