NOUN Students Threaten School VC In Face-off, Issue 7-day Ultimatum

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NOUN Students Threaten School VC In Face-off, Issue 7-day Ultimatum

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:26 pm

Students of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) have issued a
seven-day warning to the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor
Vincent Ado Tenebe, over some demands or face damning consequences.
In a letter made available to Naij.com and signed by the students’
representative, Abdulrazaq Hamzat, the students discussed series of issues,
askijng the school head to take actions as soon as possible or face the
unpleasant events that might follow his negligence.
The letter reads:
The Vice Chancellor
National Open University of Nigeria,
14/16 Murtala Muhammed Way,
Victoria Island, Lagos.
Sir,
. STUDENTS HAVE RIGHT
It is with deep respect and all sense of honor, duty and responsibility that
we write to your most respected office, on the deliberate and calculated
attempt to deny students of National Open University of Nigeria the right to
develop their leadership, analytical, social and administrative skills through
a well coordinated student association.
Since the establishment of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN),
the management has thwarted several moves by students to form a student
union like it is prevalent in other universities across the world. You have
done so without providing any reason as a defense for this unlawful
decision. We say it is unlawful because, it violates section 40 of the 1999
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which clearly states that:
‘Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other
persons, and in particular he may form or belong to any political party,
trade union or any other association for the protection of his interests’.
As a result of lack of Student Union in the Open University, the students of
this noble University has been looked down upon by the society and their
voice lost among comity of students. They have been disregarded,
disrespected and looked down upon as less students among both academic
and none academics alike. We have been denied a chance to speak for our
institution when other students are speaking. This is a grave injustice
against the students of this institution.
While students are yet to fully understand the rationale behind the decision
of the management, we are not unaware that one of the cogent reason that
birthed this discouragement of student union is the fear that a Union of
Students will vigorously checkmate perceived injustice and abuse of
students’ rights in the University, but that is not enough justification. We
wish to remind the management that, it is a well known fact that, a
university is a place to acquire knowledge. One of the major skills to
acquire in the university is the academic skills. But beyond academic skill,
there are others skills that must be developed in the university which if
properly acquired, would go a long way in helping students after graduation
to properly connect with the society and possess all relevant skills to excel
in life.
Those other skills cannot be developed by reading books, they can only be
developed through a vibrant student association, where students are
required to formulate ideas, engage in intellectual discuss, lead, socialize,
develop both political and administrative skills as well as communicate and
interact with student leaders from other institutions.
That the management of Open University fails to understand that a Student
Union will advance and enhance students’ managerial, analytical,
intellectual, political and administrative skills remains a puzzle.
Furthermore, it should be recalled that, the idea of establishing an Open
University in Nigeria was strongly influenced by the success of other Open
Universities across the world, but it appears suspicious to us why the
management of Nigeria’s Open University copied all but deliberately ignored
the idea of a Student Union.
The UK’s Open University has what it calls Open University Students
Association (OUSA). According to the evidence contained in the documents
at our disposal, the UK Open University Students Association played a vital
role by popularizing the university through its numerous events, brand
items, magazines, advocacy on media and many other activities.
In addition, there exist Students Association in India and China Open
Universities. They followed the path of UK Open University, having realized
the outstanding role played by their Students Association in ensuring
student awareness and shaping public perception about the institution, plus
adding value to the quality of management’s policies.
These are facts that the management will struggle to crumple into the
waste basket since evidence on this abound.
Consequently, we demand that the management of NOUN provides cogent
reasons for their violation of the Nigerian constitution in whose territory the
university operates. We are disturbed that a group of learned people who
ought to be advocates of the Rule of Law have resorted to all forms of
efforts in their quest to cripple justice in their favor.
We must therefore inform that, this is a new era at the university in which
justice, transparency and accountability will be our guiding principles.
It is an era of change, and this change will not leave without paying a visit
to NOUN. We demand that the management of NOUN reverses its illegal
policy of no-students union within 7 days or we shall be left with no
alternative but to seek other peaceful means of asserting our rights as
Nigerians citizens. It must be noted that, students have right, not one
conferred on them by the university, but one which they posses as humans,
conferred on them through the universal declaration of human rights and
then the Nigerian constitution.
Should the management fail to follow the path of honor, the students shall
not hesitate to ensure fairness and justice for itself through all peaceful
means.
Finally, we are the major stake holder in this university and as such, we
owe ourselves the duty to protect its image through all legal means. We
shall not continue to keep silent in face of abuse of our fundamental human
rights.
Thank you.
Abdulrazaq O Hamzat
President
Congress of Noun Students.
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