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Thursday, 29 September 2016
Unilag students protest against suspension of Students Union and activists.
A protest in Unilag has left the famous Nigerian university in a lockdown.A protest organized by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), and its Joint Campus Committee affiliate, is underway as the Unilag students protest proceeded at the gate of the University of Lagos.
The students have reportedly gathered to protest against the suspension of the Students Union and student activists.
At the time of publication, the UNILAG gate has been blocked by the protesters’ vehicle and
also locked by campus security.
Movement in or outside of the campus has been restricted since the protest commenced.
It is not clear if the Unilag students protest today is going to be a continuous thing.
One of the students who was suspended by Unilag is the popular Gbenga Adeniji,he was in fact rusticated.Reacting on his plight,Adeniji remarked that he had no regrets over the stance he took.Speaking in an interview with the Punch,Gbenga explained further...
I cannot regret doing what is right. Some people told me that it is proper to be anonymous when posting such an article. They also urged me to deny the post and say that my account was hacked. I see that as ‘quackery of activism.’ The decay in our society has got to a level that if one is addressing issues, it is also important to face personalities. If I had been anonymous, none of the issues I addressed in the article would be taken seriously. I want them to understand that the rot in the society starts from the education sector.
I was prepared for it. The whole thing started after the resolution of the Senate of the University of Lagos. Some of us saw this coming. The resolution was anti-student. You do not make a resolution without the consent of the people it will affect.
The resolution of the Senate came after the peaceful protests we had on campus on April 6, 7 and 8, 2016. On April 6, it was the union executives who went to the office of the Division of Students’ Affairs to ask that the students should be addressed. But no one came to talk to them. On the second day, it was agreed by the student leaders, the faculty and hall executives that a protest be staged. The protest was about poor welfare. At the time, there was a fuel scarcity in the country and the union executives were using the union’s bus to convey students from Yaba to Akoka. This happened for weeks. The protest was peaceful. I think the problem was ego. No member of the management came to address the students for two days.
Gbenga Adeniji rusticated by Unilag.
On the third day, it was a siren of police cars and an armoured personnel carrier that woke us at 6am. We were also sent text messages to vacate the halls of residence by 10am as academic activities had been suspended. The student leaders saw the directive as draconian. We all insisted that we would not leave the campus. A student mounted the armoured personnel carrier playfully and the police officer in it drove head on until it hit the school gate and its roof opened. The student was not injured and after sometime, we decided to go home. We were at home for three weeks. Later, the management asked us to resume for examination and that there would be rationing of electricity from 7am to 7pm. All students were also told to sign an indemnity form with our parents and take an oath before we could be reabsorbed into the university. The union and its constitution were also suspended. This is a union that was just reinstated after 10 years of proscription. I saw all these as failure on the part of the Senate and an attempt to curb and crush the union. All these made me to pick my pen and write about the Senate of the University of Lagos. I later posted it on my Facebook page.