Nigerian students injured by police gunfire

Last week a group of six NANS (National Association of Nigerian Students) activists was arrested at Ondo State University, Nigeria. One of those arrested is Dotun Ilori who suffered a slight gunshot wound as the police opened fire on the students. This was during a two-day lecture boycott by the students to protest the victimisation of the students' union leaders of the university. A campaign is now under way in Nigeria for their release. We are appealing to all our supporters, sympathisers and readers in general to take part in our solidarity campaign for these students.

Support the campaign for their release!

Last week a group of six students was arrested in Ondo State, Nigeria. One of the arrested students is Dotun Ilori. In the process of being arrested he suffered a slight gunshot wound. He was arrested along with five other NANS (National Association of Nigerian Students) activists at the Ondo State University during a two-day lecture boycott by the students to protest the victimisation of the students' union leaders of the university.

The students had protested some months ago. The university management then closed down the university for six months and victimised the leadership of the student union for leading the protest.

The NANS zone D leadership was forced to intervene. This led to various rallies and then the lecture boycott. The NANS activists were there in solidarity with the struggle of the students.

The union leadership at Ife University had supported the movement and at various instances assisted the NANS with material including the union bus, which was also detained. It was in the process of this solidarity action that the students came under police fire and were then arrested.

An armed mobile police unit shot at the students in the process of arresting them. The Ondo State government had to bring in a new mobile police detachment in order to carry out the deadly assault as the students had established friendly relations with the police stationed permanently on their campus.

The students have been in detention since last week. They are being held in Akure in Ondo State. A campaign is now under way in Nigeria for their release. Hopefully they may be released next week, but there is no guarantee that this will take place. This was the latest we had on this situation as of today, Wednesday, December 11. Therefore we are appealing to all our supporters, sympathisers and readers in general to take part in our solidarity campaign for these students.

We appeal to all our supporters to do the following:

1. Send protest letters and e-mails to the President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo (President.obasanjo@nigeriagov.org), demanding that the arrested students be immediately released and any charges dropped. (See model letter below)

2. Send protest letters and e-mails to the Vice chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, (Ile-Ife, Osun state, Nigeria), Prof ROA Makanjuola, (Rogerm@oauife.edu.ng), demanding that he intervene to guarantee the immediate release of the arrested students immediately and any charges dropped, as some of the students involved are from the Obafemi Awolowo University (Ile-Ife). (See model letter below).

3. Send protest letters to the Vice chancellor of Ondo State University, (Edo-Akiti) demanding that he intervene to guarantee the immediate release of the arrested students immediately and any charges dropped. (See model letter below)

4. Write or phone your local Nigerian Embassy demanding the release of the students.

5. The model letters are a guideline only and you can of course write your own text. Please send any copies of your messages to wa@marxist.com so that the students in Nigeria can be made aware of the campaign. This will also help to boost their morale.

6. As this kind of case always involves legal costs you could make a financial donation. So any amount of money, however big or small, will help. Donations can be made online with a credit card here: Nigeria Legal Defence Campaign and cheques made payable to the "Nigerian Legal Defence Fund" should be sent to:

Nigeria Legal Defence Campaign
PO Box 6977
London N1 3JN,
England

Payments can also be made into our special account with the Girobank. The account name is: Nigerian Legal Defence Fund. The account number is: 38 332 3282 (Girobank) in the UK.

 

Model Letter to the President of Nigeria

Dear Sir,

We have been informed of the arrest and wounding of six students during a protest movement in Ondo State. We understand these are now being held in Akure, Ondo State. One of them was injured by the police firing on the students.

Your country now prides itself at having achieved a transition to civilian rule. Therefore we would expect the old brutal methods of military dictatorship to have been abandoned. However the present case in Ondo State shows that is not necessarily the case.

We would remind you that although now you are the President of Nigeria, you were yourself detained and treated as a criminal under the previous military rule. Why, therefore do students still have to be punished so barbarically simply for protesting at conditions on University campuses in Nigeria?

We therefore call on you to intervene and get all the students concerned released immediately, and we also demand the dropping of all charges against them.

We will be campaigning on this issue inside the Labour and Youth movements in our country and we will make sure that this issue is brought to the attention of as many trade union and student activists in our country as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Signed

xxx

 

Model Letter to the Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (Ile-Ife)

Dear Sir,

We have been informed of the arrest and wounding of six students during a protest movement in Ondo State. We understand these are now being held in Akure, Ondo State. Among these there are students from Obafemi Awolowo University (Ile-Ife).

Therefore we are appealing to you, as the Vice-Chancellor of this University to do your utmost to get all the students concerned released immediately, and we also demand the dropping of all charges against them.

Your country now prides itself at having achieved a transition to civilian rule. Therefore we would expect the old brutal methods of military dictatorship to have been abandoned. However the present case in Ondo State shows that is not necessarily the case.

We will be campaigning on this issue inside the Labour and Youth movements in our country and we will make sure that this issue is brought to the attention of as many trade union and student activists in our country as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Signed

xxx

 

Model Letter to the Vice-Chancellor of Ondo State University (Ado-Ekiti)

Dear Sir,

We have been informed of the arrest and wounding of six students during a protest movement of Ondo State University students. We understand these are now being held in Akure, Ondo State.

Therefore we are appealing to you, as the Vice-Chancellor of this University to do your utmost to get all the students concerned released immediately, and we also demand the dropping of all charges against them.

Your country now prides itself at having achieved a transition to civilian rule. Therefore we would expect the old brutal methods of military dictatorship to have been abandoned. However the present case in Ondo State shows that is not necessarily the case.

We will be campaigning on this issue inside the Labour and Youth movements in our country and we will make sure that this issue is brought to the attention of as many trade union and student activists in our country

Yours sincerely,

Signed

xxx

Note: we have no email address for Ondo State University, but its mailing address is:

Vice-Chancellor,
Ondo State University
P.M.B. 5363,
Ado-Ekiti,
Ondo State,
Nigeria
Telephone: ++ 234 30 240370, 240711
Cables and Telegrams can be sent to:
Ondovarsity, Ado-Ekiti (Nigeria)
Fax of the Registrar: ++ 234 30 240188

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