Lagos State University (LASU) students who are protesting against the hike in school fees from N25,000 to N350,000 and the arrest of some of their colleagues have literally taken over the office of governor of the state, Babatunde Fashola.
Mrs Ijeoma Okwor, the coordinator of Human Rights Agenda Network (HRAN), an NGO, on Thursday in a statement in Abuja condemned the police attack on students of the university while calling on the Lagos State Government to reverse what is called the “arbitrary increase” in the school fees in the interest of peace in the state.
She said that the police had violated the right of the students by using tear gas and canisters against them.
Okwor, who defended the student’s protest said the students were exercising heir freedom of movement and expression as recognised by the law.
She said: “The fundamental rights of citizens as provided in Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution are sacrosanct and should not be compromised except under the few exceptional situations provided therein.
“Intimidation against citizens by security officers charged with the responsibility of protecting lives and properties does not and cannot reflect a true democratic setting,” she said.
According to her, it has become a trend by state governments to increase school fees of their universities without commensurate effort to improve the standard of education.
“We have noted with sadness that this trend is gradually denying poor students the opportunity to study and make a better life for themselves.”
The LASU students who expressed their feelings over the outrageous hike in their school fees were reported to have caused gridlock in Ikeja area of Lagos state during their protest on June 3rd.
Meanwhile eight students were on Wednesday, June 4 arraigned before an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court for hijacking a LAGBUS bus.
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