UNILAG Students Storm DSA Office Again
Students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) on Wednesday stormed the office of the Dean of Students Affairs’ to complain about alleged oppression and imposition of a constitution on them during a congress.
According to the students, a congress expected to resolve the suspension of the activities of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria in the institution could not because of the alleged imposition of some clauses in their bye-law by the staff advisers, Dr. Ismail Musa and Dr (Mrs) Adunola Koleosho.
It would be recalled that the Muslim students had three weeks ago protested against the suspension of their association’s activities and failure of the bye-law review committee to submit their report.
During the congress, majority of the students submitted that the superiority of the mother body – MSSN National – must be recognised ‘without conditions’.
Among the premises laid by the students when rejecting the preamble of the bye-law were that it was improper for the school management to be in control of their spiritual activities or appoint staff advisers to be a principal signatory to their financial account.
Some of the students also faulted the presiding officers for single-handedly adjourning the congress without any motion, saying they were asked to go and pray when it was suddenly announced that the congress has ended.
One of the students accused the staff advisers of inconsistency in their approach while moderating the congress.
According to the student, the presiding officer had initially said only four comments would be taken for each section but didn’t abide by that when deliberation started on the preamble.
He said, “The congress started well and we were duly accredited. When we started the review, the presiding officer told us that only four students will be allowed to speak on a section and nobody raised the alarm; after calling four people and they did not speak in the favour of the review, he extended the number of students that spoke instead of adopting the position of the students that spoke.
“Another way that you will know that he was inconsistent was when he said the constitution must comply totally with the UNILAG’s constitution and later said that we cannot vote because we are in an Islamic gathering, forgetting that the UNILAG’s constitution, which he initially referred to, recognises voting.”
Another student, identified as Akolade, wondered why the school wanted the MSSN to implement laws that were not in operation among other associations, including the UNILAG Students’ Union.
When contacted on the telephone, the presiding officer of the congress, Dr. Musa Ismail, blamed the inconclusive congress on the students, saying that they did not show cooperating attitude.
He said, “More than 10 people spoke on the matter (preamble), there are different interest groups and we don’t want any group to dominate one another. The students didn’t cooperate with us. I am not the only one representing the university there. There are other staff and we need compile our report together, so I cannot give you the university position now.”
On his part, the Amir (President) of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit, Saheed Ashafa, expressed dissatisfaction with the university authorities.
He explained that it was wrong for the staff advisers, who doubled as the presiding officers, to reject the submissions of the students for alleged personal interests.
Ashafa said, “What happened today further proves our previous position that the school management has vested interest and are bent on destroying fertile ground for Muslim students to grow. Why will students not have a say in their own constitution and why should you say that the students’ association can only align with their parent body based on conditions? Does that apply to other students group like Red Cross, Junior Chambers International, and other non-Islamic religious group?
“We have been trying our best to ensure that our members behave in the best manner while they withstand imposition from their oppressors. We only hope that the university management will not cause undue crisis on the university campus because of bias and undue interest.”
Head of Editorial,