Interview with Olorunfemi Adeyeye student activist and Sanyaolu Juwon Co-ordinator, Alliance of Nigerian Students Against Neo Liberal Attacks, representatives of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology. LAUTECH, Ogbomosho. They spoke to our correspondent Adetunji Lucas on the prolonged LAUTECH strike and the controversial video of the governor’s address to the students.
Question: what is your response to the manner the governor addressed the student.
Answer: I have been hearing about Ajimobi but i did not believe until we led the struggle to Ibadan. For a governor to say publicly and i qoute ” eight months and what is eight months”, it only shows that he does not care about the future. When he was going to campaign he was friendly in order to win the votes of the electorates. It is very bad that when he finally got hold of the position he is indifferent to the students who formed the majority of the voters. The manner he addressed us was reckless and insensitive. He made very careless statements that are not expected of a governor. I am the one he reffered to when he said “bring that boy here”.
Question: Is this your first protest by the students?
Answer: No, it is not my first protest, there have been numerous protests. There was one specifically at Ogbomosho but the students were deterred with sporadic shooting. The students then reached out to their colleagues across campuses for support.
Question: Do you think this issue is as a result of joint ownership of the institution?
Answer: The issue is an issue of idealogy. What i think the government wants to do is to privatise the Institution (LAUTECH). Because the governor in his statement compared LAUTECH with Babcock which is a private Institution. I see no reason for comparison except the governor wants to privatise the Institution. Many students are either doing odd jobs to survive or left idle. Their counterparts in other University like Unilorin have graduated.
Question: What is your expectation from the government and what were you hoping to achieve with the protest?
Answer: What we are expecting from the government (Osun and Oyo states government) to do is to pay the salaries and allowances of the striking workers and to ensure that the Institution fees are not increased. Because the government is currently planning to increase the student Institutional fees by 100 percent which cannot be in anyway convinient especially with the recent country economic recession. Aside from paying up the salaries, the government should negotiate with the ASUU on a very good condition of learning such as the laboratory some other things which are in a very despicable state. And the opening of LAUTECH should be opened unconditionally and without any inconveniences to the students.