Students under the aegis of the National Association of Kwara State Students (NAKSS) at the weekend, demanded for an immediate withdrawal of the men of the Nigerian Army from the campuses of the Kwara Polytechnic, Ilorin.
The Vice-President of the association, Comrade Kamal Dosunmu made the demand at a press briefing in Ilorin.
The Students’ union leader described the military men as agents of oppression, intimidation and occupation, who had turned the campuses of the polytechnic to a warlike zone with the way and manner the military have comported themselves.
According to him, not even in the Boko-Haram ravaged North-East do soldiers have the kind of powers of molestation, dehumanisation and open display in the campus. “They must on or before the last working day of the year 2016, be disengaged and returned to their barracks. “The invasion and occupation of the Kwara polytechnic campuses by men of the Nigerian Army is unknown to law, ultra vires, illegal and uncivil.
“They have only come to dehumanise and distort the sanctity of an environment which is fashioned to thrive on divergent plethora of reasoning. The union also demanded for the unconditional reinstatement of Comrade Imam-Murtador Olarewaju, who he said expelled for being the Welfare Secretary of the school. “The callous, barbaric and inhumane unjustified expulsion of the Kwara state Polytechnic’s Union Welfare Secretary, Comrade Imam Murtador Olarewaju over trump up charges, after he had written his final exams and submitted his thesis write up.
“It must be noted that Comrade Imam was one of the vociferous critic of the instruction’s anti-students’ policies”, he said. He asked the management of the school to henceforth hands off the activities of the school’s Students’ union and order for an election to be conducted in line with the dictate of the union’s constitution on or before the last working day of 2016. The union also demanded for an commencement of payment of all outstanding bursary claims by indigent students and institution of a credible scholarship scheme to be manned and managed by eminent nonpartisan Kwarans on or before Dec 20, 2016.
“With the mandate of the over 2 million Kwara students scattered all over the country and beyond, we say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. “We solicit the support and understanding of all well meaning kwarans, security operatives and agencies, traditional rulers, institutions, influential members of our community to join us in this struggle, while also regretting any inconveniences our actions and inactions may cause.”, said the union leader.
Reacting to the allegations, Mr Mashood Amuda, the Deputy Registrar (Information) of the institution said that the state government was aware of the deployment of military and it was to ensure security of students. Amuda denied any case of molestation, asserting that anybody that was against the presence of the military men was either a cultist or promoter of cultism. According to him, the operation of the military in the school have saved the institution from security breach particularly from cult members.
On the expulsion of Olarewaju, the Deputy Registrar said he could not have been expelled if he had not committed any offence. He said that the student was not expelled on the basis of been an executive of students’ union, saying he was not the only member of the executive council. He explained that the laid down procedures were strictly adhered to before the management took the decision. He also denied that an allegation that union activities had been banned on the campuses at a time that management had introduced electronic voting system for the students.