The National Executive Council of the National Association of Nigerian Students has resolved to hold a massive nationwide protest over the intimidation and victimisation of the leadership of students’ union by management of tertiary institutions across the country.
The decision followed the recent arrest of President of the Student Union Government of the Federal Polytechnic Ilaro, Adegboye Emmanuel Olatunji, on the allegation of being a member of a cult group.
After he was charged to court, Olatunji threatened to commit suicide.
In a suicide note posted on his Facebook page, the he lamented that he was being falsely accused because he raised the alarm over financial impropriety of the school adminstration and for calling out anti-student policies.
Olatunji wondered why no one had come to rescue him from the alleged trumped-up charges by the police, which had left a psychological toll on him.
Ojo Raymond, National Vice President of NANS, said an investigation carried out by the body revealed that Olatunji was being victimised by the school.
NANS stated that the Rector of the polytechnic, Olusegun Aluko, orchestrated the arrest when “all attempts to cow him from raising some fundamental questions as regards the management of the institution’s resources and pertinent issues on students welfare most especially increase in students’ accommodation fees by private hostel operators of which the Rector also has a business concern was not yielded to by him and this is evident in the manner in which the management of the institution suspended him without giving him the opportunity to defend himself.
The body also claimed that there are growing attempts by “institutions administrators in using the instruments of blackmail, victimisation and of course intimidation to destabilise unionism in most of our campuses with the aim of making the union stooges in their hand”.
The national students body thereby resolved to stage a national protest to protect and resist the victimisation of its members across the tertiary institutions in the country.
“In this direction, the NANS National Secretariat has directed all Students Union Government in every state in the federation to organise mass protest against bictimization of our students leaders in their respective state before the National Day of Action to be held in Ogun State.
“As student leaders we will continue to resist any attempt or calculated attempts to destabilize students unionism in Nigeria as we will continue to defend the interests of our students at all times in all fronts,” the group said.
NANS urged Rector of the Federal Polytechnic Ilaro to immediately and unconditionally reinstate Olatunji pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation of frivolous allegations against him.