Chaos as LASU students, NURTW clash
Authorities clarify issues over death of female student
IT was a chaotic scene yesterday as motorists and other road users scampered to safety when students of Lagos State University (LASU) locked horns with members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), popularly known as Agberos.
For several hours, the Lagos-Badagry Expressway was in a logjam leaving thousands of road users stranded, as the students trooped to the streets protesting against the multiple taxation by the area boys, blocking both lanes of the expressway.
The protest soon turned awry as bottles and sticks began to fly around. The students forcefully stopped commercial buses from plying the Iyana-Iba axis of the expressway. The angry students, armed with planks and broken bottles, also went after NURTW officials in uniform.
Many commercial vehicles painted in the Lagos yellow and black colours were not spared, as they were pelted with stones, which shattered their windscreens. Their drivers had hurriedly abandoned the buses and fled for their lives.
A 300 level student named Rasheed Abbey, said: “We are not touts as most Lagosians think, but we are militants when fighting for our rights. We are bitter about the outrageous increase of the tax paid by our drivers to the NURTW. Initially, we were paying N250 for making U-turn or loading. This was increased to N300. This morning, some of our drivers paid N1000. I don’t know what the Students’ Union concluded with them but when students peacefully approached them for negotiation, they were beaten. Why are they making life difficult for people? To make matters worse, a student was stabbed over this issue.”
An injured 400 level student who refused to disclose his name said there was an agreement between the SUG and NURTW that N100 is the fixed amount to be collected from LASU shuttle buses but to his surprise N2,000 was collected yesterday morning. He said justice must prevail and more students would be coming out tomorrow (Tuesday). “We are ready to wage a total war against Agberos,” he insisted.
Meanwhile, authorities of university yesterday said organisers of the party at which a 200 level female student died earlier in the month did not inform the university authorities of the event. The university made this known in its official bulletin. It identified the late student as Miss Omolara Gbadeyan of the Department of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management, Faculty of Management Science.
According to the bulletin, Gbadeyan attended a party hosted by the History and International Studies Students Association on February 11 at an Event Centre at Igando, Igando/Ikotun local council. It said the party organisers did not inform the university authority or seek its approval for the event.
According to the university, this is contrary to the rules and regulations of the institution. “The university authority management received the shocking news after the sad event had occurred and immediately swung into action,” the bulletin said.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Lanre Fagbohun, commiserated with the family of the deceased on behalf of the entire university and wished the departed soul eternal rest. Fagbohun advised students to remain calm and law abiding as they go about their academic and other activities dutifully.
Family members of the dead student had stormed LASU to ask the university authority to produce their ward amidst wailing.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.