NANS demands restoration of student unionism in UNILAG, others, gives ultimatum

LAGOS: National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has called for the restoration of student unionism in institutions that have suspended such without further delay.

According to the Southwest Coordinator of the student body, Comrade Alao John, on Monday, the continued suspension of student unionism in the University of Lagos, UNILAG, and the Federal College of Education Special, Oyo (SPED) was no longer acceptable.

He stated that the suspension of student unionism contravened students right of association as enshrined in Chapter 4, Section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.

“Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons, and in particular may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any other association for the protection of his interests,” he quoted the section.

He added, “By delaying the reinstatement of these students unionism, it’s clear that university managements are doing a great disservice to students whom they have an obligation to teach, build, mentor and empower with the needed skills, exposure and opportunities that would set them on course to contribute meaningfully to the growth of our country.

“We recall a meeting with the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos some weeks back, where she assured us of her willingness to explore the possibility of the reinstatement of the students union and would like to call on her to truly honour her words given to us.

“If ASUU, NASU, SAANU can exist on these campuses, there’s no logical reason for SUGs to remain proscribed. We want student rights to be protected and their agitations heard just as it’s applicable to other unions in tertiary institutions.

“We also want to call on the management of The Polytechnic, Ibadan and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (Lautech) to conduct student union elections in their institutions, because it is long over due and students are ready to elect a new set of leaders that will oversee their affairs for the academic session.

“Having consulted widely with student stakeholders and leaders across the South West Zone, we hereby issue a three (3) week ultimatum to the management of UNILAG and SPED Oyo to announce necessary measures in place that would aid the reinstatement of a new students union leadership in these institutions and a three week ultimatum to The Polytechnic, Ibadan and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (Lautech) for the conduct of fresh elections to usher in a new set of students leaders to steer the affairs of the Student Union Government in these institutions.

“Failure to comply, would pit these institutions against the generality of students in the South West and Nigeria at large, for we consider an injustice to one, as an injustice to all of us. We would use every legitimate means to sustain our demands, including occupying these institutions until our demands are met.

“We believe that a confrontation with students can be avoided and we call on the Federal Minister for Education, the media and well meaning Nigerians to prevail on these institutions to heed our demands,” he said.

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