Socialist Students sends solidarity to students campaigning against fee increases in Nigeria who have been shot at and murdered while protesting. Below is a statement from the Education Rights Campaign, a fighting youth organisation in Nigeria:
WE CONDEMN THE SHOOTING/KILLING OF PROTESTING STUDENTS OF KADUNA STATE COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
WE DEMAND JUSTICE AND HOLD THE EL-RUFAI-LED GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS ATTACK AND DEATH.
WE DEMAND REVERSAL OF INCREMENT IN FEES AT THE KADUNA STATE COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND THE KADUNA STATE UNIVERSITY
FOR A UNITED STRUGGLE OF STUDENTS AND THE WORKING PEOPLE IN KADUNA BACKED UP WITH A LABOUR-LED NATIONAL STRIKE!
The Education Rights Campaign(ERC) strongly condemns the brutal shooting and murder of students of Kaduna State College of Education who were protesting the unjust and outrageous increment in their school fees. The management of the institution at the behest of the Kaduna State government had increased the fees of around 25,000 naira to about 75,000 naira. We recall that a similar obnoxious increment was carried out at the Kaduna State University within the same period.
According to media reports, one student was killed by security operatives while another student is currently in critical condition from the injuries sustained from gunshots. It is crystal clear that the security operatives acted on the order of the Kaduna State Government and the management of Kaduna State College of Education.
For us in the Education Rights Campaign (ERC), Governor El-Rufai of Kaduna state and the Provost of Kaduna State College of Education, Professor Alexander Kure must be held responsible for this callous shooting and killing of unarmed protesters.
Nothing justifies the killing and shooting of innocent and unarmed protesting students who were simply protesting to demand a reversal of a fee hike policy that has the potential to undermine their aspiration for education.
We hereby demand an immediate, open, and democratic investigation led by a probe panel comprising elected representatives of students, workers unions especially NBA and NUJ to fish out the killer of students and other police officers involved in the killing and shooting of students.
This latest attack on students shows Governor El-Rufai is at war with all segment of the oppressed masses. Recall that the same Governor had gone ahead to sack some workers including lecturers at the Kaduna State University for joining a labour strike against mass sack. At the moment, the governor has jettisoned the MOU signed between it and the NLC under the supervision of the Minister of Labour and is now threatening new attacks on the labour movement if it continues to demand the recall of all sacked workers.
Together with its attack on workers in the state, the anti-people administration led by El-Rufai has also embarked on a spree of fraudulent and unjust increment in fees of students. This may result in students dropping out of school while prospective ones may be unable to step foot into the walls tertiary institution in Kaduna.
We oppose the increment in fees of Students in Kaduna state University and Kaduna state college of Education. We hold that there is no justification for the inhumane increment, especially at a period the working masses are suffering from an economic downturn as a result of anti-people policies of pro-capitalist politicians at all levels of Government. We demand an immediate reversal of the increased fees and improved funding of public public education in Kaduna state. We condemn the decision of the Kaduna government to force innocent students of Kaduna State University to sign an undertaking not to participate in any protest to oppose the criminal policies of the El-Rufai government. We also demand the recall of all unjustly sacked lecturers and workers from the Kaduna stage civil service.
The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) while condoling with students on the sad loss, charges students not to be deterred by the criminal antics of the El-Rufai government. What must be done now is to mobilize for a united struggle involving students, education workers, working masses in Kaduna to confront the brutal lawlessness of the pro-capitalist government of El-Rufai which is hell-bent on stripping people of their democratic rights through repressive measures. We also charge the Labour movement, NLC, and TUC, not to maintain silence. Rather, they should link the struggle of workers in the state against mass sack and attacks on conditions to that of students against obnoxious fee increment and repression and thereby call for a general strike to mobilize Nigerians to the street against the El-Rufai-led Government and the whole rotten and anti-poor capitalist system.
Deputy National Coordinator (ERC)
Adaramoye Michael Lenin,
National Mobilization Officer (ERC