THE University of Lagos (UNILAG) turned out to be a battle field on Friday as the protesting students engaged policemen and the management were in this battle for five hours based on the control of the campus.
The five-hour battle, which started as early as 6 o’clock in the morning saw the students dislodging the policemen led by the Area Commander of Area D, O.C. Bakare (ACP) and took firm control of the two main gates as they stopped the free movement of people and vehicles .
The unsatisfactory decision of the institute’s senate in an emergency meeting to shut down 54 years old institution after three days of protest due to scarcity of water and shortage of electricity power gave birth to the recent protest.This decision worsened the situation as the senate didn’t pay attention the students demand.
Following the continuation of the protest, the academic, administration and commercial activities were paralyzed on campus as offices, banks and business ventures remained closed, while campus shuttle buses were grounded.
The university management in a statement said the Senate acknowledged the situation on campus occasioned by the on-going agitation by the students over poor electricity and water supply, as well as, the difficulties faced by many students staying off campus to attend classes as result of the fuel crisis.
It observed that the problem of poor municipal services is a national issue and the governments; both at federal and state level are addressing the issue.
According to the statement, the Senate resolved that academic activities on campus should be suspended with immediate effect .The university will be shut, students are to vacate the various halls of residence and none should remain in the hostels after 10am on Friday, April 8.
The President, University of Lagos Students Union (ULSU), Muhammed Olaniyan, who leaded the protest and other ex cos were arrested earlier on Friday as this arrest invoked tension on campus and in order to avoid the crisis, the Student Union President was released but his phones and other personal belongings including the union bus were seized.
Some of the angry mob besieged the two main gates as they stormed the Senate and Students Affairs building in search for the Vice Chancellor, Prof Rahaman Bello while others chased the police van carrying the area commander, armoured tank and other vehicles that entered the campus, saying that the security personnels should go and fight Boko Haram terrorists in the Northern part of the country.
At the end of the gate, the students rained insult on their VC, blaming him for his inability to address the students on the first day of the protest.
Some students were in their rooms while others who had their bags got stocked in front of the hall and parents who had come earlier to pick their wards were trapped in the protest as they couldn’t make their way out of the campus.