Student activists from numerous Nigerian universities came out in solidarity with their colleagues at Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), demanding improvement in the welfare of both the students and staff of the institution.
The students stated that the institution, named for a late educator Tai Solarin, suffered neglect over the last twenty-four months. They accused Governor Ibikunle Amosu of Ogun State of failing to fund the school despite his campaign promise to do so.
Addressing a gathering of his colleagues, Juwon Sanyaolu, a student activist from Obafemi Awolowo University, encouraged his fellow students not to relent in holding the state government accountable. He added that students from across the nation were willing to support students at Tai Solarin University of Education to ensure that the state administration paid attention to their demands.
“The struggle is beyond Tai Solarin University of Education,” he said. He added, “The struggle is for all the Nigerian students. This is to tell you that there is an all-round consciousness amidst the rank and file of students, whether in Ogun State or in Osun State, whether in Lagos or in Edo, we need to be united against this oppressive government.”
TASUED students are demanding that the Ogun State provide adequate funding for their school, immediately pay all outstanding salaries for their lecturers and the school’s non-teaching staff, construct lecture halls and rehabilitate their hostels. They also urged the state government to repeal the rule that compels students of the university to pay tax.
Speaking at the gathering, the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, condemned the taxation of students, and called on the state government to do what is expected of a responsible government.
In a communiqué, the students wrote, “We say no to N10100 tax clearance. It is a deliberate act to defraud Nigerian masses. We say no to N2, 500 registration fees. It is wicked [imposition] on a population of Nigerians that has been struck hard by a biting recession.”
Bayo Akinsanya, chairman of the TASUED chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), signed a statement that announced the commencement of an indefinite strike in the school, on Friday January 27, 2017.
He stated that academics at TASUED decided to go on strike after the state government ignored several pleas to address their concerns. “All academic activities stop immediately as the strike is comprehensive and total,” Mr. Akinsanya declared in his statement addressed to the students and their parents.
SaharaReporters learned that TASUED students are mobilizing to stage a massive demonstration at Governor Amosun’s office in Abeokuta, capital of Ogun State, on February 6, 2017. The student union activists urged all students, particularly those from TASUED, to take part in the demonstration.