THE leadership of University of Lagos Students Union on Tuesday described as illegal the suspension of both the Executive and Legislative arms of their Union by the University management.
The students who addressed journalists at International Press Centre, Ogba, Ikeja, urged all students to boycott the conditions given by the management for resumption.
According to the President of the Union, Mr Mohammed Olaniyan, to sign the undertaking would amount to “signing away their rights.”
He said: “As students and social engineers who have been taught by professors, Ph.D. holders and a plethora of intelligent academics, we find it illegal and draconian that the University of Lagos management would suspend the University of Lagos Students’ Union on the basis that we peacefully agitated for our rights. Quite succinctly, section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) grants the right to peaceful assembly and association. We, therefore, find the management’s assertion that the union was suspended because of violence that erupted out of the peaceful protest, unacceptably misleading.
“We challenge the management to show to the world what facilities of the school were damaged in the course of the peaceful protest. Without mincing words, we reiterate that we stand for what is right on behalf of the student populace of the University of Lagos, even in the face of gross victimisation.
“It is no longer news (as we have earlier stated) that the resumption of students back to school is ridiculously conditional. It is laughable that students are being coerced into signing certain preposterous undertaking forms, while already frustrated parents are equally being left with no option as they sign the indemnity forms. We understand the plight of our parents and we want to, at this juncture reassure them that this struggle is in the best interest of their children/wards.”
Olaniyan said that as matriculated students, they did not understand why they should be asked to apply to be “re-absorbed” by the school after a peaceful protest.
“Let us state unequivocally that no student was expelled, suspended or rusticated as a consequence of our peaceful protest. Hence, we find it shocking that the school management has decided to re-absorb/re-admit already matriculated students. Besides, it is truism that an agreement entered into under duress and undue influence is voidable at the instance of the influenced party. We, therefore, reject in strong terms the terms and conditions attached to our resumption.”
The University of Lagos management had last weekend set Monday, May 2, as resumption date and May 9 as the commencement date for the First Semester Examination. A statement signed by the University’s Registrar, Dr Taiwo Ipaye, however, directed each student to submit a letter of undertaking before they can gain access to the hostels and examination halls