SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: June 08, 2022

Attack Types: Other

Institution(s):Various Institutions

Region & Country:Western Africa | Nigeria

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On June 8, 2022, the government of Edo State ordered the suspension of all union activities in response to an ongoing strike at state higher education institutions.

Higher education professionals, led by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), had been on strike since February 14, 2022, seeking, among other things, improved funding for salaries and campuses. In response, students from Ambrose Alli University protested to demand the resumption of classes. Following the protest, the Edo State government issued its order, suspending all union activity within state universities, and requiring striking university faculty and staff to return to work immediately.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about excessive government restrictions on the right to freedom of expression and association, as well as academic freedom, by university staff and faculty. While states and universities have the right to negotiate with striking university employees and others, such actions must be undertaken with due regard for relevant human rights. The suspension of all union activities within a higher education system constitutes an overbroad restriction on the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of association, and academic freedom, and undermines democracy generally.