[Lagos]–Students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) yesterday stormed the Lagos State House of Assembly to solicit for intervention against alleged illegal rustication and detention of their colleagues by the police and university authorities.
The protesters, who chanted different solidarity songs, carried placards with various inscriptions such as: “Nigerian students say no to repression,” “Free our students today,” “We demand the removal of Fatai Owoseni,” “Nigerian students say no to rustication of students’ leaders in Unilag” and “Free Unilag 13, free rusticated Unilag 13.”
One of the students leaders, Mr. Juwon Sonya-Olu, who spoke to our correspondent alleged that the students’ leaders were beaten, arrested and remanded by the police, for protesting against the high-handedness of the school’s management.
Sanya-Olu, who is the Secretary, Save Unilag Coalition, urged Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to intervene to free them and reinstate those who were rusticated.
“We know Ambode as a scholar and alumnus of Unilag, he should not be silent on this injustice, he should intervene.
“Two of us were rusticated for no just cause, and some of our members, who went to TVC to hold a press conference on this injustice, were arrested and detained when they returned to school.
“Since Saturday, our colleagues have been kept in Kirikiri prison with thugs and hired assassins.
“Why should innocent Nigerians who are asking questions on fundamental rights of students be detained?
“This is bad, we request the governor to break his silence and come to the aid of the students who were asking questions on inadequate hostels, accommodation fees and others,” Sanya Olu stated.
Also speaking, Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Lagos state chapter, Moses Adewale, said: “We so much have confidence in Gov. Ambode as a man of character.
“Our governor should not keep quiet at this time when Nigerians students are being oppressed and suppressed. We want him to intervene.”
Meanwhile, in a statement submitted to the governor, Adewale traced the history of the crisis in the university to April 6, 2016.
According to him, the issue started when the students of the school, led by the students’ union leaders, staged a peaceful protest to decry management’s nonchalant attitude towards living conditions of students on campus.
“We want the welfare issues range from academic welfare, hostel welfare, scarcity and high cost of sachet water on campus and high cost of commodities on campus addressed.
“The students overtime have been forced to endure this many poor conditions including epileptic power supply with no apparent reason from the management.
“Instead, the students were told that since poor power supply is a national issue, that they do not have any reason to protest or better still, they should go to Abuja or Aso rock and complain to Buhari,” Adewale explained.
Addressing the protesters, the Commissioner for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, Mr. Seye Oladejo, urged them to present relevant information to the government to enable it to intervene.
Also, the Commissioner for Homes Affairs, Mr. Abdullateef Abdulhakeem promised that the state government’s intervention would bring positive results.Please Follow Us @ThePageNg