The National Association of Nigeria Student(NANS) have blamed the death of Okoli Ahize, a Civil Engineering 500-Level student at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife on unjust poverty in the country.
Ahize was killed by a mob after some fellow students suspected him of stealing a cell phone.
The national PRO of NANS, Giwa Temitope while offering condolences to the late Ahize’s family in a statement released on Thursday added that aside the unjust poverty, the lack of modernization of unionism, the frailty of the union organization and structures contributed to Ahize’s passing.
Temitope added that the government-caused strikes have also encouraged many reactionary lifestyles among students, preventing the union from growing as a result of years of harassment and victimisation have caused students to lose sight of what their union stands for.
While urging the executive boards of student unions to take lessons from the OAU situation since the unions should strive for discipline rather than punishment, he requested that the committee formed to look into the circumstances surrounding the death should include the national leadership of NANS.
“In actuality it is a reflection of the long trajectory of different campuses in terms of modernisation of orientation, and the debasement of social development in the students’ movement generally.
“However, that it happened on OAU campus which is one of the most active unions in the history of NANS is not only sad, but calls for deep and sombre reflections.
“We believe strongly that the death of the student is caused by the absence of the modernisation of unionism, the weakness of the union organs and structures, and the arbitrary poverty in the country which made Ahize to steal and also made the hungry mob to be so stupidly angry.
“We shall also wade in while calling on the management to include NANS national leadership in the committee to be set up to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death.
“ We stand in Solidarity with the great Ife Students Union. We admit that the Union can make errors, but same must be handled for corrective means. NANS hereby ask our legal team to immediately intervene on the cases and come up with legal standpoints for the congress”.
Meanwhile university’s public relations officer, Abiodun Olarewaju, when contacted confirmed the occurrence and stated that the vice chancellor, Prof. Simeon Bamire and the entire community were pained by the student’s murder.
He noted that the institution has established a committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding the student’s horrific death, adding that the suspects should have followed the rules of the university and the constitution rather than defying them.