CSOs protest at Lagos Assembly over crises in LASU, others
Urge Sanwo-Olu to restore peace in schools
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) stormed the Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday to complain about the perennial crises in Lagos State University (LASU), Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) and Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), urging the government to intervene.
In a letter submitted to the house, the coalition comprising United Action for Democracy (UAD), Sahara Education Development Initiative (SEDI), Workbond International Network (WIN), Alliance of Nigerian Students Against Neo-Liberal Attacks and Committee for Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) stated that the dismissal of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) leaders prompted the peaceful rally.
While appealing for Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s intervention, the coalition demanded the reinstatement of five ASUU-LASU officials “illegally dismissed by the Prof. Bayo Ninalowo-led governing council, and the Vice Chancellor, Professor Lanre Fagbohun.”
It further requested the governor to constitute a visitation panel to the institution.
Other demands of the coalition included: immediate reinstatement of ASUU-LASU check-off dues illegally stopped by the VC since January 2019; immediate promotion of union officers and their loyalists reportedly denied promotions by the university; investigation of N198 million pension fund of LASU staff; and investigation of the N1.3 billion National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) fund.
One of the leaders of the coaltion, Mr. Kunle Ajayi, said: “We will continue the protest until our demands are met. Nigerians are suffering. The country is rich, yet our people are suffering because few people just sit on our money. They are wasting our resources. They are even using our resources to fight us,” he said.
Ajayi added that there were several issues in tertiary institutions in Lagos, which put the ivory towers in a big mess.
Reacting on behalf of the Assembly Speaker, the Majority Leader, Sanai Agunbiade, who represents the constituency where the incident happened, said he personally brought the case of LASPOTECH before the house.
He urged the workers not to allow anybody to make LASPOTECH a battleground.
Former Secretary of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Omotaje Olawale, decried the sack of five LASU lecturers without following due process, claiming that “corruption reigns supreme in these institutions.”
Olawale said the staff were only agitating for promotions and implementation of the new minimum wage, which he described as their right.