To reconvene, kick-start total protests and agitations after 48 hours ultimatum
Yesterday’s protest by University of Lagos students against fee hike and underfunding of education is a powerful display of class consciousness and collective action.
It was a direct confrontation rejecting the neoliberal siege on public education.
We maintain that our struggle is a fight for affordable, accessible education which is a fundamental right for all, not just the privileged few and this was clearly stated to the world yesterday.
The Students’ Solidarity Group Against Fee Hike salutes the courage of all UNILAG students, specially recognizing the ladies (worthy of mention) who stood to defend their constitutional rights to peaceful assembly and protest against all manipulations from the Government and the UNILAG Management.
We do not want to dwell again on all the manipulations they used, but for every lie dished out by the Professor Ogunsola-led management, we confronted them with the truth and TRUTH eventually won!
We won! You all won!
Regrettably, the Prof. Ogunshola-led management of the University of Lagos resorted to the deployment of armed police officers, who shot canisters of tear gas to disrupt the peaceful students protest, leading to the illegal arrest of some of our comrades namely, Adeyeye Olorunfemi, Olatinwo Phillip, Aduwo Ayodele, Giwa Yisa Temitope and others. Their intention was clearly to stifle our voices, instill fear, and deter our peaceful demonstration but they failed WOEFULLY!
The STUDENTS’ SOLIDARITY GROUP AGAINST FEE HIKE vehemently condemns the actions of the Prof. Ogunshola-led management who resorted to the use of armed-to-the-teeth police officers to arrest and harass students participating in a peaceful protest. This act represents a grave violation of the rights and freedoms of the students and is a direct affront to the principles of democratic discourse and peaceful assembly. Until yesterday, one would have thought that there are not many Police officers in Nigeria.
It was so shameful to see how these Police officers were hustling to arrest protesters like there was a special allowance to be given for the number of protesters each one was able to harass and arrest. We saw this happen first-hand.
Where were these many armed Police officers when Adekunle Agboola, a 200-level student was shot by armed robbers on University road? Till date, nothing has been heard of the case. Where were they when students get robbed and stabbed just by the gates of our campuses- both Akoka and Idi-Araba?
We advise that Ogunsola should resort to 21st century civility and stop wasting the scarce resources of the University on repressing voices of dissent.
Despite these repressive measures, resilient students, who possess an intimate understanding of the University environment, adeptly outmaneuvered the armed police officers. Unfazed by the intimidation tactics employed by the university management and law enforcement, students promptly strategized to reorganize at the University gate, demonstrating their unwavering commitment to the #FeesMustFall struggle.
We want to restate that the warning protest of yesterday emerged as a necessity after the Management shunned all attempts at dialogue. The management refused to honour the resolution of the meeting held on the 2nd of August, 2023 with the STUDENTS DELEGATION team of the STUDENTS’ SOLIDARITY GROUP AGAINST FEE HIKE.
Throughout the course of yesterday’s peaceful demonstration, we fervently voiced our demands, which included the immediate and unconditional release of our detained comrades (this happened) and the prompt reversal of the fee increment within 48 hours. This ultimatum was issued with the hope of fostering a constructive dialogue and equitable resolution to this matter.
As the clock begins to tick on our 48-hour ultimatum, we remain resolute in our commitment to the cause. Should the university administration fail to heed the will of the students and rectify this arbitrary fee increase, we will remobilize for a much larger protest and not just a warning protest.
STUDENTS’ SOLIDARITY GROUP AGAINST FEE HIKE.
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