Following the ongoing indefinite strike action by the academic Unions in Lagos State Polytechnic campuses, the student of the institution have added their voices to the invasion and brutalization by armed military men allegedly working on the instructions of the school management.
Recall that last Monday, the LASPOTECH chapter of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) embarked on another indefinite strike less than one month after the Unions suspended its joint strike.
At that time, the Unions staged a joint protest at the Lagos State Polytechnic. The march took the protesters through the usually busy ends of Ikorodu, the Ayangburen, Oba Kabir Shotobi’s Palace, the Lagos State House of Assembly as well as the Isolo campus of the school.
During one of the protests at the Ikorodu campus of the institution, the protest turned ugly when armed military officers prevented the striking Unions free movement around the school premises.
A staff of the school, Mr. Olorunfemi and his wife, were attacked by men suspected to be working on the orders of influential management officers. Mr. Olorunfemi and his wife sustained injures while the windshield of ASUP bus he was driving at the time got shattered.
In a direct response to the ongoing strike and protests, the student of LASPOTECH staged a protest march where they condemned the military invasion of the school, urging the management and striking unions to sheath their swords to allow already crippled academic activities return to normal.
In a statement signed President of the Students Union Government, Dauda Lawal, the students begged the government of Lagos to intervene in the ongoing strike in the institution.
Narrating the actions of the armed military, Dauda said: “To our greatest surprise, men of the Nigerian Army came in their hundreds to attack, beat and brutalize every student of LASPOTECH in sight. They inflicted injuries on other Leaders who were on the protest ground. As if that was not enough, they invaded Lambo Lasunwon community, dragged students out of their homes to get them humiliated through different degrees of punishment.”
“This is the height of injustice and impunity on the part of the Military men, under a democratic setting where the rights of every individual is clearly and rightly affirmed by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. As students and citizens of this country, we were clearly agitating for our rights before the “Zombies” came to attack the just agitation! Under whose authority we are yet to unravel,” he added.
While begging for government intervention in the ongoing crisis in the school, Dauda stressed that “we call on the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, Governor Akinwumi Ambode, The Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai, and other well meaning Nigerians to call the men of the 174 Batallion, Odogunyan-Ikorodu to order because this madness has to stop.”
“We use this medium to tell all that we are agitating for the just course and we are doing it for the future of all Laspotians. This agitation we will continue to do. No Soldier brutalization, No Police invasion will stop us from achieving our main objective to resume to School.
“We must at this time reiterate the fact that we are not involved in whatever issues, actions or inactions that led to the crisis between the School Management and its Staff Unions. Rather, we are interested in seeing the future of our students secured! That is why we totally reject the allegations and propaganda flying around that one of our Comrades is behind the damage done to the ASUP Bus earlier today during the military invasion. The Students’ Union of this dispensation is devoid of hooligans and rascals as all of the officers are responsive and responsible leaders,” Dauda agitated.
The SUG President concluded that “we remain resolute in our agitation because nothing shall deter us until we get to the promise land. We should also remember that an injustice to one is an injustice to all.”