SYL Finds Tragic Incident at Nasarawa State University Outrageous: Students’ Death Over Palliatives for Hunger is Indefensible!

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The Socialist Youth League (SYL) is gravely concerned over reports of the tragic death of two students of the Nasarawa State University, earlier today. According to reports available to SYL, the two students were Rose Michael, a 400L student of psychology and Grace Danlade Enupe, a 200L student of computer science. They lost their lives in a stampede at the university’s convocation square during the distribution of food as palliatives to the students of the university. At least 22 other students were severely injured and had to be taken to the hospital. 

SYL has repeatedly called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to address the current economic crisis in the country, which has reduced working people and youths in the country to the position of beggars. The high cost of living has left the poor masses at the mercy of the ruling class who use the distribution of palliatives and food supplies to score cheap political points without addressing the root causes of the economic crisis. 

The working class and all strata of poor people are facing an intolerable level of hunger and insecurity, not to talk of choking unemployment, poor wages and ever-increasing prices of basic commodities. The students who have been further burdened with an increase in school fees are also plagued with food shortages. There is a pressing need to combat the general crisis of capitalism to ensure the physical, social, mental and intellectual growth and development of young people and the immense majority of Nigerians suffering amid plenty that a handful of rich people appropriate. 

The death of the two students because of the failure of the capitalist system and the APC government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu must not be allowed to go just like that. We demand justice for them. We demand that action be taken to avoid such needless sacrifice of students’ lives. 

An independent inquiry must be set up to look at the immediate circumstances of the death and everyone directly involved must be brought to book. But it is not only the management of Nasarawa State University that has blood on its hands. 

The FGN is culpable. All the schools that have increased school fees leaving students too impoverished to feed themselves as prices of food items are also increasing are also guilty. 

We demand the immediate reversal of all fee increments and payment of bursaries to students to enable us to feed ourselves and purchase necessities to live healthy lives. 

This is a call for Nigerian students to stand United and fight to win quality lives and education as our fundamental rights. As we sympathise with the families and loved ones of Rose and Comfort who have been sacrificed on the altar of this vampire system, we must all realise that our futures are bleak if we don’t fight to change the catastrophic reality of being a student in Nigeria. This is also a call to the trade unions and all organisations of working-class people. The students dying from hunger and stampedes for palliatives are children of poor working people. The trade unions cannot simply be taking symbolic action that they call off without achieving anything. This is the time for workers and youth to unite and fight against hunger, hardship and our exploitation. Delay is dangerously deadly! 

Sgd

Kaleb UTANGE

National Coordinator

Socialist Youth League

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