Jonathan’s OAU Visit, SUG Leaders Meeting And The Protest: Same Cause, Different Approach
“In the end, We will remember not the words of our enemy but the silent of our friends” Martin Luther King Jnr. It is with the above quoted declaration in mind that I write over the needless argument of President Jonathan triumphant entry to Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, other wise referred to as “Oba Awon University, OAU. The only outstanding and affordable Federal University in Nigeria, South of Sahara and North of Limpopo. Having taken a detailed insight and undergone a thorough assessment and reassessment of the visit, I have come to this irreversible and political unfaultable stand in tandem with the words of Winston Churchill that says that “the truth is incontrovertible, ignorance may attack it, truth may deride it but in the end there it is”.
Looking at the various arguments and counter-arguments on the actions of both parties, that is the students’ union executive president, the speaker of the Obafemi Awolowo Univerisity SRC and the ERC students led protest. It was obvious that both the union executive and the ERC were fighting for the reinstatement of the suspended 8 students, the reversal of the astronomical and pocketing tearing tuition fee and above all, the general welfare of the students. Though the executive have shown and demonstrated that they are matured, coordinated and tactical in their approach by submitting a protest letter to the president, while the former who embarked on protest see it as the only way and approach in which they can make their grievances known to the dynamic and development focused President Goodluck Jonathan,GCFR who happens to be the visitor of every federal university in Nigeria, by virtue of his status, as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
No doubt, OAU is known for intellectual radicalism and her cherished tradition of Aluta against any form of oppression; but to call a spade a spade and not an agricultural instrument, OAU management will never admit a student who will stone a gateman not to talk of stoning a seating President like Dr. Goodluck Jonathan because of her fundamental ethos of learning and culture.
That is imbibe in all Great ife students. However The students protest and reaction is not new, it happens during the democratic regime of President Olusegun Obasanjo, prior to 1999 election, also during the military era, the voice of Great Ife students are historically documented. In fact, Dr. Anthony Fashayo, the Ex-OAU student President was jailed for criticizing the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) under the regime of Ibrahim Babangida , he was again arrested and jailed during the Abacha’s despotic reign of terror for shunning his invitation to confab in Abuja. Nevertheless, as an ex-Ife student and revolutionary leader, I wish to appeal to Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to revisit the issue raised and ensure a total reversal and refund of the fees vis-à-vis the unconditional reinstatement of the suspended OAU students without further delay.
Long live OAU
Long Live Nigeria
Comrade Babaeko Oluwaloseyi Solomon
School of Politics and International Studies
University of Leeds, UK.
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