Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/507/3339
The Socialist 25 October 2007 |
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Nigeria: Student leaders framed on murder charges
Release Saburi Akande Akinola, Taiwo Hassan Soweto and Olatunde Dairo now
THREE STUDENT leaders of a major Nigerian university are being held in prison on trumped-up charges of conspiracy to murder. They were elected by the students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, to fight against plans of the university and state authorities to commercialise and undermine education provision and to attack the students' rights to organise and resist.
The Osun State Director of Public Prosecutions, hand in glove with the university authorities and with the fraudulently elected state government, ordered the latest arrests to try and break the union and head off campus protests agreed at a mass meeting on October 11.
The authorities closed the university [now re-opened] and suspended a total of 13 student activists - many of who are members and supporters of the Education Rights Campaign.
Boycotts of lectures and other actions were due to start this week to demand the release of the president of the students union who has been held since the end of July on a whole series of similarly trumped-up charges, including conspiracy to murder the former Vice-Chancellor in 2004.
Those behind this attack on the students' democratic rights are closely linked with the looters of Nigeria's oil wealth.
The Campaign for Democratic and Workers' Rights in Nigeria is calling for an avalanche of protests to be sent to the authorities demanding the immediate release of the students and the dropping of all charges against them. Campaigners in Nigeria are calling for worldwide protest pickets and solidarity demonstrations to take place at embassies and High Commissions on 23 October.
On that day, a mass procession is planned to go to the Court in Oshogbo where the bail application of Akinola Saburi, the students' union president, is due to be heard.
Victor Osakwe (Secretary CDWR Nigeria), Alex Gounelas (Acting Secretary CDWRN, London)
Protests should be sent to:
Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) at firstname.lastname@example.org
OAU Vice-Chancellor – email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Nigerian Federal Ministry of Education at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Copies of messages to: Campaign for Democratic and Workers' Rights in Nigeria email@example.com
Victor Osakwe, CDWR in Nigeria firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations please to:
Campaign for Democratic and Workers' Rights in Nigeria, P.O. Box No. 44485, London SE1 OXB.