Armed security operatives yesterday shot teargas at hundreds of students of the Lagos State University (LASU) who stormed the office of Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN), to protest the hike in tuition by at least 750 per cent.
The students, who came to the governor’s office aboard three BRT buses, occupied the exit and entrance gates, thereby preventing staff members and visitors access and departure from the complex.
The protesting students were singing and chanting anti-Fashola songs for several minutes before the police swooped on them on the orders of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) Commander, Mr. Hakeem Odumosun.
The policemen shot sporadically into the air and released teargas right in front of the governor’s office.
The action of the security operatives compelled the protesters to scamper in different direction for safety while some of them sustained varying degrees of injuries.
The protesters who sustained injuries were rushed to the hospital. Yet, the policemen continued to chase the protesters away from the Lagos House to the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The aggrieved students hurriedly crossed the expressway and pitched their tent at the Magodo Gate, as others who ran in different directions came to join them at the gate.
Two students and the driver of one of the BRT buses were arrested by the police and the bus was impounded by the police.
Police officers with guns were seen searching everywhere for LASU students to arrest.
The road leading to the governor’s office from the Lagos State House of Assembly was barricaded by police vans.
After the protesters reconvened, the President of LASU Students’ Union Government, Mr. Yusuf Nurudeen, said the protesters came to demand why the state government had not announced a reduction in fees being paid by the students after the committee set up by Fashola submitted its report on Monday.
According to him, “we also learnt that the government will be meeting with the Governing Council of the school today and that is why we came. We beat the barricade set up by the police and we were singing peacefully at the entrance of the governor’s office when we saw policemen.
He explained that the security operatives “shot teargas at us, shot live bullets at us right in front of the governor’s office. It is sad that they shot at us. We came to hear the announcement of the reduction in school fees. The police cannot do this without the order of the governor,” he said.
“About three students were injured and have been rushed to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, (LASUTH), while two others were arrested. The policemen pursued us from the governor’s office to Magodo Gate. We will continue to protest,” the president explained.
However, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Aderemi Ibirogba, said the state executive council was yet to conclude on the school fee issue.
The commissioner explained that he could not disclose whether there had been reduction in the fees or not, but that details would be released to the public at the conclusion of the matter.