The ball is in the court of the students and their union leaders to play!
Great Ife, which prides itself as the most radical campus in the country, is in a political dilemma. Those who are following the trend of activities since the mass resistance of students in a number of historic protests that led to the management’s insensitive closure of the campus, would agree with me that the Ife union is going the wrong way. The student’s union leadership had dropped political action for “negotiations.” This is despite the massive discontent demonstrated by the mass of students. The union leadership is giving excuses that “ideologues are hijacking the struggle.” And they even dissociated from the JULY 10 commemoration of the killing of Akin Afrika and 5 other student activists in 1999, this year. One cannot but state the obvious according to Albert Camus; “those who lack the courage will always find a philosophy to justify it“. Union leaders must know that they have a generational obligation to fulfil. They must put their personal discomfort before the collective self-emancipation. When anyone knows he does not have the political will to lead the just cause of the entire studentry, such element should quit. The mass of students are also advised to elect revolutionaries and class-conscious persons who would defend their cause to the latter, without selling out or chickening out, always!
Ekiti state University students are also battling a heinous fees hike imposed by the Kayode Fayemi APC-led government. Their union leaders have not been so assertive in building up mass resistance. Now that the Fayemi regime has been voted out, EKSU and other students in Ekiti must not have any illusion in the incoming government. They must start agitations for reversal NOW!
This bell must also be ringed down to Nnamdi Azikiwe University, where students are fighting against the fees increment for both new intakes and staylites. Fees of freshers has been increased from N35,00 to N52,000. Hostel fees have also been astronomically increased to N72000 from N32,000 which students even struggle to pay. Students have been protesting, and we urge workers to join them too. For the struggle against fees hikes is a class struggle, and all strata of the oppressed must join in fighting it.
One is then reminded of the case of Rufus Giwa Polytechnics, Owo where the Mimiko-led Labour party government has increased fees. Students immediately took to the streets, and the management responded with closure. Student-leaders in Ondo state are urged to rise above their romanticizing the Mimiko government to leading mass actions. Ondo State University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH) has been in a bad state as the university has been left in the shadows for a long time now. While speaking with a student-leader in Ondo state, he informed me that the university has gone worse off to the extent that the few students admitted there are being transferred to another university in the state to get access to academic facilities. This has been confirmed from my enquiries. The Ondo state government must be made to know that the wealth of the state is more than enough to fund more than 5 tertiary institutions.