Daniel Ayantoye | Ibadan
As Nigeria marks Democracy Day, Student Union, University of Ibadan has said the dividends of democracy is is yet to be enjoyed by Students across the federation as a result of continuous disagreement between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Other Unions and the Federal Government.
The Students Union said this in a statement signed by it’s President, Akeju Olusegun and made available to CAMPUS FOCUS on Friday, June 12, 2020,
The Union emphasized that underfunding of public tertiary institutions, increase of School fees and lack of access to affordable Education is gradually destroying the future of Nigeria.
The statement reads, “On behalf of the Students of the University of Ibadan, we congratulate Nigerians in various sectors as we celebrate democracy today. The value of democracy cannot be overemphasized. However, it is unfortunate that we don’t enjoy the dividend of democracy.
“As students, we also wish to have a reason to rejoice but we will only deceive ourselves if we say we have one. The position of education and the concern of students in Nigeria have been discouraging and as such students now prefer to go outside the country to study.
“Nigeria has millions of students in tertiary institutions and in various states. These students, hold the light to the future of the country. Hence, joking with their affairs is like throwing the future of the country in water; if we have not thrown it already. The lesser the attention given to the students, the greater the possibility of having a failed state.
“Public Tertiary Institutions are underfunded and they are becoming core commercial centres that are more concerned about how much they make to move than the convenience of students. The average school fees and other fees of the institutions are increasing year in year out and no one is doing anything about it. Nigerians are not enjoying affordable education and everything is looking normal.
“Nigerian students are the pillars of democracy and the nation. Education is the only way to drive the concepts of democracy, citizenship and patriotism in the heart of the people but the country is only digging holes beside the pillars. It is just a matter of time before they crumble. It is hard to see a person that can boldly say how proud he or she is of our educational system.
“Fellow Nigerian Students, we are no more asking for free education, thats an issue for another day but affordable and consistent one. If they think we don’t deserve free education, at least, we have the right to enjoy what we paid for.
“The time of students don’t matter to anyone any longer. Since, 1999, ASUU Strike has wasted about 40 months of student’s time. ASUP and other educational Trade Unions also take their turns on Nigerian Students. Months of uncertainty where students get stranded and don’t know what to do. We face a lot of security threat when millions of people are waiting indefinitely without anything engagement. Loss of scholarships and opportunities, the delay in personal plans of students and the trauma are left unrectified. The question we should ask is, who pays the damages? At least, it is a basic and common breach of agreement for Students’ to pay for services of the Institutions and yet get delayed. The children of our leaders and educational leaders don’t attend public Institutions, hence, they can’t feel the pain of the students. No wonder our leaders and many lecturers are more of graduates of foreign institutions.
“At this point, we are not begging for free education that we deserve. No!!! We are saying that we matter too. We are saying that you should give us the respect we deserve!!! We are saying our time matters too. We are telling Federal Government and ASUU to stop the annual festivals and see us as important.
“Fellow Nigerian Students, if we don’t speak up nothing will be done. Hence, everywhere you are, sing it to their ears. And trend the hashtags.