The Nigerian Government has issued an order prohibiting all parastatal outfits to hire any members of the executive council of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, including its President, Professor Assisi Asobie. This is the latest attack on the ASUU leaders, after their evictions from their homes at the end of the talks between the government and the union in the Spring of 1996 and the banning of the union itself.
Meanwhile, the situation on the Nigerian campuses continues to deteriorate, both economically and from the viewpoint of academic rights. All academic and non-academic staff unions have been banned since May 15, 1996. In addition, several universities are now governed by a sort of dictatorial system under the guise of a "One-man administration." This means that some universities are now ruled by one person, who combines the power of the senate, the Vice Chancellor, and the university council, so that every other authority in the university can act only by his (or her) fiat. This is one more step in a long series of increasing restrictions on university autonomy that began in the early 1970s -- but perhaps it is not the last, as recently the Minister of Education has hinted that it may soon become unlawful to teach certain subjects (_Newswatch_, October 16, 1996. Interview withe Assisi Asobie).
At the beginning of 1997, the government also announced the introduction of new fees at Federal universities, leading to another round of campus protests. In response, the authorities have closed the university of Nsukka in February, and the University of Benin, where one student, Ubong Williams, was killed by the police.
[Source: Committee for Academic Freedom in Africa, Newsletter No. 12 Spring 1997.
Table of Contents:
Makerere University Students Expelled
Nigerian Government Persecutes ASUU Leaders;
Kenyan Students Killed: What is to be done?;
Cuts of Student Aid to Legal Residents are Discussed in the U.S. Congress;
The World Bank and Education in Senegal: Interview with Babacar Diop;
The International Intellectual Property Regime and the Enclosure of Knowledge in Africa.
For information on CAFA and its newsletter, contact George Caffentzis (Dept
of Philosophy, U. of Southern