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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

LASU RIOT: We Will Not Give Up - Students

Protesting students of the Lagos State University (LASU) have vowed to continue to face the new tuition regime in the institution with resistance until it is reversed.
The students said in a communique issued today under the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) that resolutions by the Lagos House of Assembly (LAHA) was one-sided, and failed to take into consideration the "insensitivity of management" of the institution in the recent crisis that broke out on the campus.
Saharareporters learned of an informal meeting held by students of the institution last week, following a hearing at the Lagos House of Assembly. During the meeting, students leaders reportedly scorned the attitude of the Students' Union towards the crisis. They termed the SUG's posture as one “suggestive of parley” with the management for some interest.
In their new communique under the ERC, the students said they have resolved to disregard resolutions of the Lagos State Assembly, which they faulted as one biased against them. Parts of the Lagos Assembly's resolution include an instruction on the students to pay damages for items destroyed during the crisis and demand of an apology letter to be written by leadership of the Students' Union. The Lagos Assembly also resolved that the registration portal in the school would be opened for two more days for the 1,292 students who could not register to do so. The students however have said they are opposed to the resolutions.
With their deserting of the SUG, the students say they are now engaging civil society organizations, stakeholders in education, as well as the social media, to advance the cause that they hope, will lead to an eventual reversal of the new tuition hikes. They scorned the Lagos State Governor as pretending to be progressive, but at the same time, rather harsh in policy tones such as one they described as "anti-poor" in the project to develop the State into a mega city.
The LASU students also indicated that they are creating a social media crusade under the hashtag #SaveLASU, as well as roll out a petition for many to sign it online against the present tuition hike regime.
They listed their demands in the social media campaign to include a complete reversal of hikedtuition fees, non-victimization of students who participated in the protests, and a delayed period of portal re-opening, as opposed to the two days offered by the Lagos Assembly to enable all students to complete their registrations.
They criticized the speaker of the Lagos Assembly recently for visiting the school only to “inspect damage” that took place during the student rebellion crisis, touched-off following the hikes. While conducting a tour of the school campus, student leaders pointed out, that the Assembly Speaker totally ignored those students at local hospitals who had sustained serious injury from the crisis. The students also largely blamed the police for the cause of the violence that erupted; state that at the time of their protests that they were only demanding access to the school. The statement said that the students wanted to be allowed entrance for exams, after their payments, before the police surged into a crowd that stimulated the outrage that turned violent.