REVERSE THE FEES NOW!
The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) condemns the assault on protesting students of Lagos State University (LASU) by the police in Lagos on Tuesday June 3, 2014 on the order of the State Government.
The students in their hundreds led by the Students' Union executive continued their peaceful protest along the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway en route Oshodi against the outrageous school fees ranging between N197, 000 and N350,000 and were attacked with tear gas canisters. About 5 students have been reportedly injured. The students had staged similar protest penultimate week at Ojota and Ebute Metta in Lagos State.
We recall that similar attack was launched against students during a peaceful protest against the closure of registration portal against the students who were unable to pay the fees at the main campus of the university, Ojo on January 23, 2014.
We condemn this attack in its entirety as it is an attempt by the Babatunde Raji Fashola-led Lagos State Government to repress the campaign against the obnoxious fee regime which has denied thousands access to university education and has caused hundreds of students to drop out of school since 2011.
This attack is coming on the heels of the submission of a proposal to the state government by the Students' Union on April 24, 2014, demanding a reduction of the fees to N46, 500 for returning students and N65, 500 for freshers along with a list of 86 students who dropped out of school as demanded by the Governor. One month after, the State Government is yet to make any pronouncement regarding a reduction in the fees.
We demand immediate reversal of the fee s so as to allow children of poor and working class parents access university education. We also call on the state government to meet the demands of the striking education workers in LASU for academic activities to resume. We salute the students for their courage and determination and we urge them to continue the campaign until their demands are met. We call for joint actions and solidarity between workers and students of the university in the struggle against fees and better working condition
Hassan Taiwo Soweto