Miracle Akubuo 

The National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) has given the Management of Lagos State University 48 hours to reverse their fees and refund those who have paid the extravagant fee.

In a press release by NANS on Thursday, signed by NANS executives which includes ! Giwa Yisa Temitope (National PRO), Ekundina Segun Elvis (National Deputy Senate President), Alimi Lekan Idris (Chairman NANS, JCC Lagos), and Adegboye Adebayo (Director Special Duties NANS, Southern), the association commended the collective participation of Nigerian students across the country for their active actions during the peaceful protest, despite the repression by the police and school authorities.

NANS accused the police of being unlawful and absurd during the protest. 

The statement in part reads, “To be recalled, on Wednesday, the students of Lagos State started a peaceful protest at the University gate. The protest was geared as a result of the enormous increase in fees across tertiary institutions. As a means to reproach such actions, unfortunately, the police, in an alleged manner, disrupted the peaceful protest with gunshots, tear gas, and arrests of some protesting students.”

“However, the student authorities have reproached the police for their unlawful rebuke, stating that they will continue to embark on peaceful protests until their demands are met.”

“We want to start this press conference by commending the mass of Nigerian students who came out yesterday, defying police repression, and threats from the arrogant authorities of the University of Lagos. We salute the courage of students of the University of Lagos. We acknowledge the leadership of NANS Lagos, Ogun Joint Campus Committees, and the entire Joint Campus Committee in South West and Zone D leadership itself. We commend students from Lagos State Polytechnic, and students from other tertiary institutions who came out yesterday.

“We want to state that the repression that was meted out during our protest yesterday, in what we best term an ‘absurd’ astronomical increase in fees payable at the University of Lagos, is condemnable and the height of recklessness on the part of the Police Force. Going as far as dispersing a peaceful gathering of students against the absurdity is in itself an absurdity, and, as an association, we condemn it in clear terms. Students, and indeed, the Nigerian people, must be free to exercise their freedom as explicitly stated in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), most especially Section 40 which provides for the Right to peaceful assembly and association.

“The Police authority must henceforth stop the repression of students and people’s protests.

“Accordingly, the management of the University of Lagos is hereby given a 48-hour ultimatum to immediately reverse the fees as agreed upon and refund students who have paid the astronomical fees.” He added

“Consequently, all student Union Presidents, NANS leadership, and Nigerian students are hereby put on notice to begin mobilizations. We shall be returning to the Unilag gates. The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Professor Folasade Ogunshola, categorically stated that we can only protest for three days at the gate and leave. She dared Nigerian students, calling us weak and insignificant. We will meet her at the barricades. The country is bleeding economically, and education cannot be traded for illiteracy. It is our fundamental human right to be educated.”

“We warn all higher education and Unity Schools never to add a kobo to the school fees. This is why we will be elaborately campaigning on the #FeesMustFall!.

“We thank all Nigerians who rose when we were arrested and shot at by the police. We especially appreciate the level of solidarity and radical statements from our campuses, especially the Great Ife Students Union, University of Ibadan Students’ Union, amongst others. The Lagos JCC, NANS Zone D, Groups, and the entire civil society. This brings joy to the heart and signals that a new Students Movement is rising collectively again.” He said.

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