Comrade Kola Edokpaye, the state coordinator of Joint Legal Action Aids (JLAA) has berated Prof. Osasere Orumwense, the University of Vice Chancellor for rusticating five University of Benin students for engaging on a peaceful protest and for calling on the federal government and school authorities to reduce tuition fees and fix the dilapidated hostel amenities.
Comrade Edokpaye, who is a proponent of Talakawa Parliament made the call at the Civil Society lecture held in Benin City titled "Shrinking Civil Space and the Need to Explore Innovation as Panacea".
"The rustication of five progressive students of the University of Benin is very lugubrious, sardonic and melancholic. It is repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience. Students cannot be rusticated for protesting peacefully against the hike in tuition and hostel fees as the right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly are guaranteed by the Constitution of Nigeria.
"Since NANS is impotent and in great slumber under the leadership of Aruna Kadiri, I call on all lovers and voices of Justice globally to lend their voices to the clarion call on Uniben Management to reinstate the rusticated students without much ado.
UNIBEN management should not take us anticlockwise to the dark days of military dictatorship where students rights to protest peacefully are strangulated and suffocated by the puppet school management who want to please the ruling capitalist class.
According to Martins Luther King Jr "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere and our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter". We say caboodle rejectamenta to the rustication of five Uniben Students", Comrade Edokpaye said.
You will recall that Prof. Orumwense last week led the school Senate to rusticate five UNIBEN students whom he said embarrassed the Chairman of Governing Council with peaceful protest, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Emir of Kano during the last convocation ceremony.