At the convocation ceremony of Caleb University, Imota Lagos on Friday 11th October, 2019, Mr Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), called for an immediate lift of the ban of students unions in all Nigeria universities.
Falana said this while delivering the 9th Convocation lecture of the University, titled: “Managing Freedom and Illusions of Achievement”.
The legal luminary noted that students and staff unions would contribute meaningfully to the search for solution to the myriad of problems confronting the country if they are allowed to operate without fear of proscription.
Our first generation universities were citadels of learning, as they promoted ideas and encouraged students to challenge the status quo
“It is on record that some of the best legislators in the country were former members of the students’ parliaments,” he added.
He also added that, “There were progressive lecturers who spoke truth to power without harassment from the management of tertiary institutions.”
According to him, there must be a deliberate policy on the part of progressive students to take the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) back from the government.
Falana said effort must also be made to re-position NANS to defend and protect the interest of students.
“The other day, an alumnus of a private university was charged for cultism and cyber crime, denied bail and detained in a prison for many months for criticising the facilities in his alma mater.”
He condemned the dismissal of six lecturers in another state university for exposing mismanagement of the funds allocated to the school.
According to him, to cover up corrupt practices and other iniquities on campus, the management of the university have subjected all academic and Non-Academic staff to swear to an oath of secrecy.
The SAN said the laws of the land and the rules and regulations of every tertiary should be observed and respected by all and sundry.