By Emmanuel Edukugho, Ikenna Asomba & Joy Osuji
LAGOS — Amidst recent students’ unrest rocking the Lagos State University, LASU, as a result of protest against hike in tuition fees, the Senate of the school, in an emergency meeting, yesterday, suspended the Students’ Union Government, SUG, and its activities on campus.
Consequently, the Police deployed armed policemen to the university in two Armoured Personnel Carriers, APCs, six Police Hilux vans, two Police trucks and one Mercedes Benz car.
As at yesterday, there were skirmishes between the students and armed policemen who fired teargas to disperse and halt the incursion of irate students into the campus.
Meanwhile, a recent Special Bulletin by the university management, dated November 25, 2011, mandated new students offered provisional admission for 2011/2012 academic session to pay the new fees with immediate effect, based in two installments.
Also, in the bulletin, returning students are to resume studies, Monday, December 5, 2011, and are to pay the old school fees of 25,000 in two installments.
On resumption of studies, returning students were mandated to sign a letter of undertaking and guarantor form in their respective faculties.
Meanwhile, the recent hike in tuition fees seemed to cut across all Lagos State-owned tertiary institutions, as students of Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, AOCOED, Ijaniki, reacted against the hike in their school fees by boycotting lectures.
Following peaceful protest by the students, academic activities for the National Certificate Education, NCE, programme were disrupted and students were sent home.
Speaking with Vanguard, Comrade Wale Adenuga, President of the Students’ Union Government, SUG, expressed dissatisfaction with the way the Lagos State government and management of the college were handling the matter.
Adenuga, who spoke on behalf of the students, alleged that the school fees were increased by 100 per cent (from N25,000 to N45, 000).
“This is absolutely inhuman, considering the fact that majority of the students came from poor background as their parents earn below minimum wage,” he said.
Speaking further, he said that negotiation is a way of solving the matter, while at the same time appealing to the government to intervene, because “education is one of the basic necessities of every Nigerian citizen”.
Currently at the Michael Otedola College of Primary Education, MOCPED, Noforija-Epe, there is absolute peace and tranquility, as there have been no report of students’ rampage in the College.
Speaking with Education Vanguard, the Provost of the College, Prof. Olu Akeusola affirmed that MOCPED has been able to manage any suspecting mayhem resulting from the new fees, due to its approach to the new status quo.
According to Prof. Akeusola, “Considering the geographical location of the College, in Epe, a suburb area, and taking note of the fact that students are not many here, we begged government to increase by 10-20 per cent instead of 50 percent or more.
“It is not as if we did not implement government’s policy or that government did not consult us before proposing the new fees. But on our part, we called a Stakeholders’ Forum to inform parents and students of the government’s newly proposed fees. We showed them the available facts and figures, which they accepted”.
Efforts to reach the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) management on the hike were futile as the officers were too busy to respond to our enquiry.