By Evelyn Usman
The ever busy Lagos-Badagry expressway was yesterday barricaded by students of the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo who were protesting what they described as the long silence and unfair treatment by the state House of Assembly over the institutionâ€™s internal problem.
The students, alongside the local Academic StaffÂ Union of University (ASUU) branch, Non-Academic Staff of University (NASU ) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities ( SSANU) have been clamouring for the removal of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Lateef Hussein, over alleged abuse of office.
The lingering agitationÂ started five months ago during which all activities were paralysed.
To checkmate the breakdown of law and order, the House of Assembly summoned the aggrieved parties last month to public hearing which was aired live on one of the national television stations. However, at the end of the deliberation,Â partiesÂ were asked to await the Houseâ€™s decision.
It was gathered that twice, the Assembly had postponed its decision to proffer a lasting solution to the institutionâ€™s problem.
Speaking with Vanguard, an executive of the Student Union Government, who identified himself as Olarewaju Badmus, said: â€œWe said we do not want the VC, he must go. We barricaded the expressway because government failed to address the matter. We have been promised thatÂ the matter would be addressed. Two months now, nothing has been heard and we understand the House will be going on recess tomorrow (today), to resume next year. We cannot wait any longer.
â€œWe were on the verge of writing our examinations when ASUU went on strike and since the strike had been called off, nothing has been done to address our internal problem.
â€œWe have resolved that the vice-chancellor must go because he has abused the office and also misappropriated funds. We want another vice-chancellor. If nothing is done on the issue, we will continue with the protest tomorrow (today),â€ he said.
Motorists plying the expressway went through a harrowing experience as vehicles were at a standstill for hours. Commuters trekked long distance to get vehicles to their destinations.
It took the intervention of mobile and conventional policemen who were drafted from different divisions under Area â€˜Eâ€™ Command to remove the two trucks that were used to barricade the highway, thereby allowing for a free flow, about 5.30 p.m. Three Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) wereÂ mounted at different points to prevent the situation from assuming a violent dimension.