Management of the Lagos State University (LASU) have taken the decision to halt the activities of the state-owned educational facility indefinitely. The development follows what the LASU university officials described 'violent protest by the students'.
"In the wake of the violent protest by some affected students of Lagos State University (LASU) over the closure of the university portal for registration of courses for rain semester 2012/2013 examination, the university management has decided to shut down the university indefinitely," the bulletin titled LASU management Closes University indefinitely and dated January 23, 2014, reads. "Also, examinations have been put off till further notice. With this decision, students are expected to vacate the university premises until further notice."The initially peaceful protest has been staged by the students on Wednesday, January 22. They decried the failure of the University Management to reopen the registration portal for over a thousand students who are yet to register. However, on Thursday, violence erupted. Participants destroyed cars, other properties, and allegedly threw stones at the University Vice Chancellor Prof. John Obafunwa despite the presence of men of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) on the site.
The university’s Acting Director of Press and Public Relations Unit, Dr. Sola Fosudo, explained that the measure was taken to allow normalcy to return. He said the management resolved to address all the major problems that may have triggered the protest.
Also, Lagos State House of Assembly summoned the Special Adviser on Education Mr. Fatai Olukoga, the Governing Council, management staff of the university and the students' union leadership to appear before the House on Friday.
The Chairman, Committee on Education, Science and Technology, Wahab Alawiye-King appealed to the University authorities to reopen the portal for two days to enable the students to register and sit for the examination.
The police stormed the campus with over 20 patrol vans and two APCs. According to eyewitnesses' accounts, the policemen fired teargas canisters at students injuring many. It was learnt that two students have been transferred to the Ikeja General in critical condition.
However, Area E Commander in charge of the Ojo, Assistant Commissioner of Police Dan Okoro denied the allegations, suggesting the students sustained injuries while trying to break the windows to the VC's office and windshields of some cars.
The university's two entrance gates have been locked up and blocked by policemen who placed their vans in and around the campus. The students were asked to vacate the university immediately.
The Education Rights Campaign, has called for the immediate withdrawal of the police from the university and the establishment of a democratic process to hold discussions with the aggrieved students and the university’s union body.
Below are the pictures from the scene of the protest. Warning: some images depict violence.