Miracle Akubuo

UNILAG students held a peaceful protest at the Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday, decrying the alleged unfair rustication and detention of fellow students by both the police and university authorities. 

This demonstration was sparked by the arrest of two student activists, Femi Adeyeye and Philip Olatinwo, who were peacefully voicing their opposition to substantial tuition fee hikes at the institution.

Miracle Yemo, the protest’s spokesperson, called for the release of the two detained students, “We demand justice, the non-violent nature of our protest must be recognized. Tear gas should never have been used against us.”

Meanwhile, on social media, Nigerians voiced their discontent with the country’s governance. 

In her words, Chioma Chinyere said, “It’s time to end Nigeria’s ‘democratic dictatorship.’ Protesting against government policies is the essence of democracy.”

Also, Jasmine Adeoga said, “We suffer under all governments, good and bad. Protests are our voice, our way of saying enough is enough.”

Reacting on Twitter, Nwabuike Chidi questioned the allocation of police resources: “Are there enough officers to address issues at UNILAG and other crime-prone areas? We’re frustrated with how the police handle unarmed students.”

Also, Gbadebo Awoyale saw the protest as a symbol of democracy. 

He said, “Peaceful protests are a cornerstone of democracy. Students must have the freedom to express themselves.”

Similarly, Mohammed Inusa emphasized the constitutional right to protest: “In response to tuition fee hikes, peaceful protest is our right as students.”

Ola KZ in his reaction said, “Protesting is not a crime. Students should be heard on matters like tuition fees.”

However, Genesis Emate questioned the very essence of democracy: “Is democracy truly superior? Recent events make me wonder.”

Mhelly pondered on the limitations of freedom of expression, he said “Is our ‘democratic’ system really that different from the old military regime?”

Apelongo Emmanuel compared police responses: “Why such force against students when past incidents of robbery and violence near campus were handled differently?”

Chris Alex in his own reaction expressed frustration at the criminalization of protests: “In Nigeria, protests are treated as crimes. Sometimes, countries under military rule seem more democratic.”

In the same vein, Sodiq Olu raised doubts about democracy’s existence: “Given how we’re treated when we express grievances, is there really democracy in Nigeria?”

Prince Leeykan couldn’t hide his disappointment while he commented “Arresting and shooting students during a peaceful protest is deeply saddening.”

In his comment, Uburu Peter lamented the restrictions on rights: “Our rights are being curtailed, and it’s disheartening.”

Kelly Obojade questioned the university’s compliance with presidential directives, “The president ordered a halt to tuition fee hikes. Is the school management even following this directive? ASUU’s role in this matter is frustrating.”


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