Lagos Varsity Crisis: Students invade government house

247newsnaija

THE Lagos State University students Thursday stormed the office of Governor Babatunde Fashola at Alausa, Ikeja, vowing not to return home until their demands are met.

To show how resolute they were, the students, including male and female, who arrived at the governor’s office at about 3:00 p.m. in over 10 buses, including two Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) buses with registration numbers XQ 837 EPE and LRS 652 XC, came along with mats, mosquito nets and cooking pots.

The students did not waste time to show their seriousness as the female folks among them quickly swung into action setting up the firewood to prepare beans, just a stone throw from the entrance of the governor’s office.

The students also defied a sudden downpour that threatened their demonstration, as they danced to solidarity songs, even as they held mid-day prayers to seek divine intervention on the issue.

The students in a release addressed to Governor Fashola and entitled: ‘Save our future’, which was made available to journalists, alleged that the school fees hike has taken education beyond the reach of the students.

Also speaking, President of the LASU Student Union Governor, Mr. Yusuf Temilola Nurudeen, said the students by their demonstration have resolved to fight their cause by themselves until their demands were met by the government.

“Our school is shut down. Everything has turned upside down.

Students are dropping from the university on daily basis. We decided not to engage the party leaders because the people in government do not understand any language. The only language they understand is protest. They have been promising that they will get back to us soon and very soon. Anything can be soon. So, we do not want to engage the leaders of the APC.

“We have resolved to fight this struggle by ourselves. We are a pressure group; we are a pressure group in the country. We can do this alone. We do not want any person to fight for us. We voted for Governor Fashola. We voted for all members of the State House of Assembly. As a result, we think he can help our situation.

“He has always promised us better rewarding future. How can we have a rewarding future without education? He has denied good education. He has neglected the law that created LASU. We wanted to go to court. But we decided not to go to court because we need to resolve this issue.

Governor Fashola has violated Section 3 (1) of the law that established the institution. The section states that the university should be made

available for all people irrespective of their socio-economic background and status. Now, the governor has made LASU the University of the Rich.

“We are not ready to leave here anytime soon until we hear something from the government. We have gone to Lagos Island. We have gone to Ojota. We were at Oshodi on Tuesday. The police shut live bullets at us. The police manhandled us and arrested some of our colleagues. That is why we decided to come here today and tell the governor what is on our minds.

“Before their arrest, I told the police to arrest me instead of our colleagues. We are not deterred. We will not stop until we hear something from the government. If the governor refuses to come out, we will remain here until he comes out. If the governor can respond to issues that are less important than this, he should come out and respond to the students of the institution. The governor must come out and speak to us. We are ready to engage him.”

As at the time of filling this report, no official of the state government had attended to the students as only the security officials attached to the Office of the Governor were at their duty posts.

The state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, was said to have left the state for Port Harcourt to join his colleagues for the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) retreat holding at the Rivers State Governor’s Lodge today.

State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Aderemi Ibirogba and his counterpart in the Ministry of Transportation, Kayode Opeifa, had on Wednesday said the government had before now reached an agreement with the stakeholders on the way out of the lingering crisis.

They wondered why the crises have continued to escalate despite assurances from the government explaining that it was awaiting a report from the Executive Council committee on LASU it constituted to resolve the issue.

The commissioners said the committee would not be able to reach a conclusion on the issue till June 9, saying the students and stakeholders raised a lot of issues that needed interrogation or conclusive position.

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