“It is not enough to go out on May 1 to march, when there is injustice in the system that needs to be addressed.”
The academic and non-academic staff unions of the Lagos State University, LASU, Ojo, on Wednesday expressed readiness to stage a fresh protest over fee hike on May 1 in Lagos.
The Joint Action Front, JAF, would also join the two unions in the protest, which would commence by 9:30 a.m. at the Onikan Stadium in Marina, Lagos.
Abiodun Aremu, JAF Secretary, who made this known in a consultative forum with the unions at LASU, said the protest would focus on the reversal of the fee hike in the university.
However, scores of students of the university at the forum objected to the struggle.
Mr. Aremu said JAF, being a coalition of civil society groups, deemed it fit to intervene in the lingering crisis.
“We are here at the eve of the workers’ day to discuss our future, as the workers day symbolises workers’ struggle against injustice.
“It is not enough to go out on May 1 to march, when there is injustice in the system that needs to be addressed.
“We must all come together as a formidable group to make our stand known to the state government, as regards issues affecting LASU,” he said.
Adekunle Idris, Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, of the institution, said the lecturers were in support of the struggle to save LASU.
Mr. Idris said that the present happenings at the institution had put it at a cross road where all the unions must come together to decide their destiny.
He noted that workers of the institution may lose their jobs if they don’t speak now, “with the obnoxious policies of the university’s management.”
“We have seen the harm, the fee hike has caused in the university and the dwindling enrolment figures, so we are in support of the struggle,” he said.
Saheed Oseni, Chairman, Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, LASU chapter, also confirmed the support of his members.
“It is a struggle for survival and liberation of the workers of the university against injustice and capitalists who have hijacked the system,” he said.
Jubril Yakubu, Chairman, Non- Academic Staff Union of Education and Associated Institutions (NASU), called for the trust and consistency of the union members in the struggle.
“I have the fear of some members backing out at the heat of the struggle, as this would not help in achieving our goal,” he said.
Ola Gbadamosi, the Chairman, National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), also said its members would back every plan and sensitisation programme that would bring progress to the institution.
Mr. Gbadamosi urged the forum not to sit back and allow the situation degenerate, “as it takes only a blind man to have two sides to happenings in the university.”
The Students Union President of LASU, Nurudeen Yusuf, insisted that they were not invited to the forum and were not part of it.
Meanwhile, Mr. Aremu urged the unions not to encourage any division, as such attempts would fail.
Mr. Idris also expressed disappointment over the action of the students, saying that they have been bought over by the authorities to cause division among them.
“Here are workers fighting for the reversal or reduction of the fee hike and the students who are the party involved are backing out.
“Once again, those in authority are trying to divide us, but we must keep our eyes on our goals and forget every distraction,” he added.
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