HUNDREDS of students from the Yaba College of Technology and the Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka, who troop to the streets in Lagos to protest over the lingering strike embarked upon by Academic Staff Unions in polytechnics (ASUP) And College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) that has left the tertiary institutions closed for more than 9 months were, on Wednesday, clashed with policemen in Lagos.
Liveschoolnews.com.ng grapevine gathered that, fight left many of the students injured, while a Lagos State Waste Management Authority truck and Water Corporation van were vandalised.
The students were said to be protesting against the ongoing strike action of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics. However, the policemen fired tear gas canisters to disperse them.
The incident created a traffic jam, with many commuters held up in a traffic snarl that stretched from the Yaba end of the Murtala Muhammed Way to Oyingbo Market.
As of 1pm when the clash reached its peak, policemen were seen chasing the students in about five police vans, while the students, who wielded sticks and bottles, threatened to destroy any government property in sight.
A student of Yabatech, Francis Olaoluwa, told liveschoolnews.org grapevine that the students were on a peaceful protest when the policemen attacked them.
He said, “We were protesting against the refusal of the Federal Government to attend to our academic staff.
“It was a peaceful protest. We were going to the Third Mainland to make Nigerians know our pain. We have tried going to the Lagos State secretariat, but each time, they asked the police to stop us.
“When we got to Sabo junction, the policemen asked us to leave the road. We told them they would have to follow us from the back.
“When we got to the filling station to refill our tanks, they went ahead of us and parked their vans in front. When we got there, they started firing tear gas canisters, before shooting live bullets at us. They beat up students who had cameras. Over 100 students in three BRT vehicles were also arrested.”
One of the injured students was seen with blood stains on his clothes, while his right palm was tied with a piece of cloth.
The student, who identified himself as Akeem Ayanlola, a student of FCE said, “I was trying to duck a tear gas canister, but I hit my hand against a glass pane.
“I am a Part three student and I just finished my Teaching Practice. We are just sitting at home and doing nothing.”
When our correspondent contacted the Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Command, Ngozi Braide on her telephone line, it rang out but she did not pick.
A text message sent to her had yet to be responded to as of the time of filing this report.
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, and Colleges of Education and Academic Staff Union, COEASU, have been on eight-month and six-month strike respectively.
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