Rights Group Calls For Immediate Reversal Of Students’ Expulsion

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Global Rights has called on the authorities of the University of Ibadan to “immediately” reverse the expulsion of 3 students.

Olamide Gbadegeshin, Aduwo Ayodele, and Nice Linus were asked to leave the school after engaging in a peaceful protest against the sudden hike in tuition fees by the University’s management.

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The 3 students, alongside one Olorunfemi Adeyeye, were apprehended by army officers while protesting the fee increase at the inauguration of the Student Union government on May 13, 2024.

“While their actions may have posed an inconvenience to the administration of the university, extant laws clearly prescribe their right to protest peacefully, Damilola Decker said in a statement released by Global Rights.

“The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, provides great latitude for expressions and actions that constitute peaceful protest, specifically, the rights to freedom of expression, assembly, association, and movement.

“It is also a well-recognized fact that peaceful protests, especially by young people, have often been an effective means of bringing about positive social change in democratic societies all over the World. A university of the calibre of the University of Ibadan should, therefore, not be averse to its students exercising this right.

“It is our considered opinion that educational institutions are afforded a vantage position in helping to build a rising generation of civic actors who have an increasingly important role in entrenching Nigeria’s democratic roots”, the statement added.

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It also said that “recognizing this important responsibility, one of the Nation’s premier educational institutions should not set a bad precedent by truncating these students’ right and access to education; rather, it should seek to allay their concerns and those of others who are rightly worried about the ability of Nigeria’s children and youth to access quality education in the current economic climate.

“We recognize that the University of Ibadan has a duty to maintain its educational standards and responsibilities to its tutors while navigating the harsh economic terrain, but surely, the university should understand why students will feel the need to protest a significant increase in tuition fees”, it stated.

Global Rights consequently requested that any plans to expel Olamide Gbadegeshin of the Institute of African Studies, Aduwo Ayodele of the History Department (200 level) and Nice Linus from the University of Ibadan be immediately jettisoned.

It said that students should be allowed to resume their studies without any fear of intimidation, harassment, or reprisals from the management and staff of the University of Ibadan.

While revealing that security agents who arrested the students and Olorunfemi Adeyeye on May 13, 2024, issue a swift and unreserved apology, it said the University should play an examplary role for other tertiary institutions by engaging mechanisms that encourage ample and robust interactions with students.

“On our part, we stand solidly behind dissenting voices who choose to participate in their governance and seek social justice utilizing their freedom of expression through peaceful protests”, the statement concluded.

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