Students of the Lagos State University on Thursday staged a protest at the office of Gov. Babatunde Fashola in Ikeja over the failure to reopen the institution after it was closed for the general elections.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that no fewer than 200 protesters chanted angry songs and carried placards condemning the closure during the protest.
Some of the inscriptions on the placards include “Open our University”, “We are tired of sitting at home” and “After the elections, what again?”
The security details at the governor’s office had a hectic time controlling some of the students who danced round the entrance, ventilating their anger at the situation.
A few others were seen inside the no fewer than six buses they had brought, loudly lamenting their pains over the situation.
The President of the university’s Students’ Union, Wasiu Adeyemi, who led the protest, said the continued closure of the institution three weeks after the elections was indefensible.
“We are here to show our dismay and displeasure about the situation at the Lagos State University.
“On March 16, the Management of the university closed the institution for an election recess because they believed there was going to be a post-election crisis.
” But disappointingly, three weeks after the election, the management is yet to open the institution for normal activities.
“The election is over and there is no crisis, so why should we continue to remain at home when Gen. Muhammed Buhari who won the election is not on recess.
” We tried our best to reach the management to call the commissioner and the Special Adviser on Education to do something about the situation. We wrote them several times but up till now nothing has been done.
“The situation is not acceptable to us and that is why we have resorted to this protest, ” he said.
Adeyemi said the students were aware of the lingering battles between the management of the university and the various workers’ unions over salaries and other benefits.
He said the crisis should not be a reason for not reopening the university, pointing out that the disagreements could be ironed out even as the school was open for normal activities.
The Student Union President said that students had appealed to the feuding parties severally to resolve their differences in the interest of institution’s stability.
“We have been playing a mediator role between ASUU, SSANNU and the management towards resolving their differences.
“If the crisis is the reason for shutting the school, that is clearly in the extreme because when two elephants fight, the grass suffers.
“We are tired of sitting down at home. We do not want our four years to extend beyond that .We want something to be done on the closure urgently, “he said.
Adeyemi criticised Fashola for what he called his indifferent attitude toward the present situation in the school, saying as governor and Visitor of the school, his swift intervention was needed.
He therefore urged the governor to live to his status as the father of the university by urgently taking steps to restore normalcy to the school. (NAN)