Unite the Struggle of the Oppressed!
Statement of the Revolutionary Socialist Vanguard (Sympathizing RCIT Section in Nigeria), 12 April 2019, https://revolutionarysocialistvanguard.wordpress.com/
WE CONDEMN THE SCHOOL SECURITY APPARATUS WHICH PERSIST IN VIOLATING STUDENTS RIGHT TO PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY WHILE THEY FAIL TO ENSURE STUDENTS' SECURITY AGAINST ARMED GROUPS; UNDERWORLD GANGS ON AND OFF-CAMPUS, AND THE MOST RECENT POISONING OF THE SCHOOL DAM.
WE POSIT THAT THE SECURITY OF STUDENTS ON AND OFF THE CAMPUS IS NOT GUARANTEED WITHOUT THE ACTIVE AND FULL PARTICIPATION OF STUDENTS THEMSELVES. STUDENTS MUST SET UP A SECURITY COMMITTEE TO AMELIORATE THE SECURITY CRISES IN TOWN AND ON THE CAMPUS.
STUDENTS MUST CONTINUE RADICAL ORGANISATIONS UNDER THE UNION ACTION COMMITTEE TO RESIST MANAGEMENT AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ATTACKS, THE MOST RECENT BEING THE SHORTENING OF THE COURSE REGISTRATION PERIOD WHICH IS THE BEGINNING OF A CHOKING AND HASTY ACADEMIC CALENDAR.
THE UNION ACTION COMMITTEE MUST ALONG SIDE OTHER PROGRESSIVE NATIONAL STUDENT BODIES CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE SHRINKING FEDERAL BUDGET FOR EDUCATION WHILE KICK STARTING ANTI-GOVERNMENT DEMONSTRATIONS AGAINST THE FRUITLESS BUHARI REGIME IN A TIME OF GLOBAL UPRISING.
As we welcome freshmen to the citadel of progressive intellectualism, and stalites, also back to the same, we urge them not to for one second view the anomalous happenings on the campus and its environs as events that are limited to the university and her management but to be informed of a long broiling plot by the Federal government to sabotage public education by poor funding, clamp down on student associations and a total privatization of the sector for pecuniary gains. Yet, the most recent case of dam poisoning further points out the inextricable link between life on the campus and the larger society. Thus, the need for students to engage the government at all levels including that of their institutions through open letters, demonstrations and statements cannot be over explained but to do this students must form a national coalition from all institutions in the federation which will be run by students democratically.
This coalition must also begin vituperative criticisms of unions in the sector and abroad who have kept mute despite several atrocities committed against the average Nigerian student. Unions like ASUU, NASU and NAAT must be engaged on their failure to resist or take open positions against concerted attacks targeted at the education sector like increments in tuition fees in public institutions; ban of students' union activities and the terrible living and learning conditions of students or why they have not been consistent in contesting these trends.
Again as earlier said students must not only engage and critique unions affiliated with the education sector but we must also condemn the failure of national and labour unions like the NLC and TUC to reject the anti-people policies of the Nigerian capitalist ruling class.
We must understand that the death of the education sector spells ruin for us all, that is why the Nigerian economy is hollowed out into a shadow of itself and the whole nation is in shambles with rising unemployment; heightened crime rates and terrorism but it seems like the Nigerian narrative is captured by Leon Trotsky's words: when tradition is lacking a striking example is necessary. Students must demonstrate that striking example and take no refuge in phony reforms or amendments of the Buhari regime such as the "not too young to run" bill while school governing bodies continue to endorse and support the ban on students unionism and continue to attack the right of students to free assembly, we then see that the "not too young to run" bill is but a hoax to pacify the youths from taking revolutionary action against the status quo.
Hence, with this understanding, students must continue radical organization under the union action committee to resist policies aimed at destroying the education sector by privatization even if this means the very lives of innocent students must be offered up on the alter of greed of university administrators as Ogunbodede's accommodation policy has exposed thousands of students to killings, rape, kidnap, armed robbery and recruitment by neo-fascist and cybercrime groups in town. When we told students last session that the cosmetic renopainting of the Ogunbodede led university administration is a ploy to increase accommodation fees some jeered at us in disbelief but towards the end of the semester a list of names were posted outside Awolowo hall in order for the students to repair damages in the hall after having paid maintenance fees along side their annual tuition fees since they were admitted into the university. This shows that only a vibrant students union can bring true progress to the living conditions and learning quality of the school.
For us in the RSV a student security apparatus is mandatory to minimize the security risks on and off the campus. Students must alongside this security team when it is constituted begin taking tactical steps to curb the security risks students are exposed to and relentlessly demand building of new hostels on the campus to curb the menace of armed robbery and exploitation by land lords in town.
The closure of course registration for a semester that has hardly begun and the removal of the compulsory 2nd week of freshers registration is a repetition, but in harsher terms, of the hasty academic procession of last semester which led to a meagre coverage of the syllabus before the ASUU strike because students were not ready to resume after the impromptu break. Students must watch carefully and resist this trend for the fate of our academic performance depends on it yet more strikes are imminent as there are no tangible improvements in the allowance disbursement system of university staff as opposed to what the Federal government promised. We must recall also that this "rush hour" program for running a university has led many students into psychological and mental strain and to conclude this type of program can only produce poor graduates; a perfect example is the students who were most badly affected by the ASUU national strike such as those in the departments of Microbiology, Botany, Zoology whose students had to cover the whole semester curriculum in a matter of weeks (2 or 3 to be precise).
Conclusively students must demand for the democratization of the university administration in which staff, students and other stakeholders of the university must have representative to decide on all issues including but not limited to the duration of the academic calendar and even exam timetables; the security of students on and off campus and methods to spend the internally generated revenue of the university coupled with means of securing funds for the development of the living and learning conditions of the university the surest means of which remains a collective campaign for increased, robust and exclusive funding of the education sector by the Federal government.
We once again welcome freshmen into a new phase of academic pursuit and remind them once more not to for one moment disconnect their academic success from the progress of their welfare and security conditions which is determined by the administrative characters in the institution and that of the federal government but which can be optimally assured by their participation in vibrant campus and national students' unionism.
JIMOH OLADIPUPO (IDEAL)