The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), on Wednesday, blocked the main gate of the University of Lagos, Akoka, to protest the suspension by the university management of both the Student Union and the Union leaders.
The protest, which began around 2.00 p.m. and continued until after 4:00 p.m., saw hundreds of students on both sides of the locked gate chanting solidarity songs. Vehicles were used to block the entrance, leading to heavy gridlock on both the University Road and Akoka-Bariga Road. It was gathered that security operatives had locked the school gate to prevent the protesters from gaining entrance.
The protest had come after a three-day ultimatum issued by the apex student body had elapsed on Tuesday. A statement signed by NANS’ Senate President, Salam Oyejide, had accused the management of the University of Lagos of “insensitivity”.
“It is an incontrovertible fact that the management of University of Lagos had been widely consulted,” the statement read. “Our demands had been meticulously tabled for justice. Our stand had been politely publicised for the general public to see, feel and read.
“This will not stop us from engaging necessary government agencies and the Federal Government itself to ensure UNILAG suspended leaders return to campus.”
Speaking to Nigerian Tribune after the protest, the Coordinator of Zone D (Lagos) of NANS, Mr Okikiola Ogunsola said the protest would continue on Tuesday.
“The student union leaders of UNILAG were suspended for two academic sessions because they led a protest against the management of the institution over poor welfare on campus. This is bad. Students of UNILAG are suffering from freedom of expression. One of them was suspended because he bared his mind on social media. We have written several letters to UNILAG and appealed to them to reinstate these students, and up till this moment, nothing has come of it.
“Today, at the protest, they refused to come out and address us. That shows how inhuman, how cruel, the management of UNILAG is. They used police to intimidate us, but we stood our ground and ensured that our voice was heard. We will continue this protest until the students are called back to school.”
Attempts made Wednesday afternoon to reach the University spokesman, Mr Toyin Adebule, were unsuccessful.