The TakeItBack movement has called on the management of the University of Ibadan to immediately reinstate its suspended Students’ Union leader, Ojo Aderemi.
The Students Disciplinary Committee (SDC) of the institution suspended Aderemi for four semesters after being accused of conducting an illegal congress of the union, leading a protest, and breaking the glass of an office while a lecturer was inside — allegations that were denied by Ojo.
Condemning the decision of the institution, Juwon Sanyaolu, National Coordinator, TakeitBack Campus Unit, said that the Idowu Olayinka, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, is deliberately silencing students in the university and denying them of their democratic rights.
He also described the suspension as “despotic and unbefitting of a democratic clime”.
Sanyaolu said: “Everywhere in Nigeria, there is a renewed and conscious attempt to completely kill the tradition of radical students unionism. And this is because there is a looming attack of fee increment on every institution of the country including the University of Ibadan.
“This is why the TakeitBack movement views these attacks beyond the question of democratic rights of students but also an attempt by the government to undermine our ability to resist imminent attacks on the living standard of the Nigerian people.”
Sanyaolu also made reference to the recent 100% hike in tuition fees by the management of Sokoto State University, describing it as part of plans by the Nigerian government to make the country uninhabitable for the poor.
“Just this month, the state government of Sokoto and management of Sokoto State University had increased fees of the institution by 100%. The Nigerian government is on the verge of launching several attacks on the poor people of this country,” he said.
“As we can see, the government would be increasing the price of fuel and VAT very soon. This would definitely put a strong strain on the economy and pocket of the poor man. These would also translate to the increase in all commodities including fees.
“This is why there is a plan to first smash our ability to resist these attacks before introducing several draconic policies.”
Juwon maintained the readiness of the TakeItBack movement to join forces with Nigerians and mass of students to demand the immediate reinstatement of the students’ leader and restoration of the illegally banned students Union.
He also challenged every student to reject any attempt from any tertiary institution management to victimize and silence students.
“It is to this end that the TakeitBack movement calls on the mass of students and well meaning Nigerians to reject all conscious attempt to reduce our university into mere barracks and turn our democratic space into an arena of tyranny,” he said.