Today being celebrated as Democracy Day in Nigeria and as such a public holiday, students of the University of Lagos had planned to rest or have fun at various fun spots in the state but an unpleasant news took the whole campus by storm. Earlier today, President Goodluck Jonathan in his Democracy Day address announced that the prestigious University of Lagos will now be known as Moshood Abiola University.
The news quickly spread round the campus through shouts and social medias like BBM, 2go, Facebook and Twitter. Within few minutes, there was large noise round the campus and male students ran around the halls charging their fellow school mates to come out in en-masse for a protest. Both male and female students eventually emerged from their various halls and headed to the main gate of the university to block and stage their protest there.
The University road and Akoka road was blocked immediately, with some students demonstrating and another set of students addressing the protesters. After a while the protesting students decided to make their way to Herbert Macaulay road, they moved their protest on to Ikorodu road. On getting to Jibowu, Ikorodu road, they were met by a large number of armed policemen who were friendly and allowed the protest to continue. Meanwhile, some set of protesters already made their way to the College of Medicine, Idi Araba tencourage students there to join the protest but on getting there, the medical and para-medical students with their lab coats on were already mobilizing to join their colleagues at Akoka campus.
The protesters then moved to Yaba market where their counterparts from the college of medicine joined them, from Yaba market they proceeded to Sabo and back to the main gate of the university. The protesters camped there and another set of College of Medicine students joined them, increasing the number of protesters to well over 3000. The acting Vice Chancellor of the University Prof. Bello tried calming the students and make them stop the protest but was sent away; the registrar of the university also tried to do same but was sent away as well.
It was a peaceful protest in which the students should commended for but violence nearly broke out when a drunk uniform man interfered in the protest. Thankfully, men of the civil defense were quick to calm the situation down. Two students were nearly injured when a driver almost ran them down, she managed to escape and made her way to the faculty of social science where she was caught by angry students. She was almost stripped naked before the security men intervened. All in all, it really wasn’t a violent protest.
As at the time of writing this report, the protesting students are still at the main gate camping there with loud speakers blasting music and having fun. According to some of the protesters, they have decided to boycott lectures tomorrow and continue with the protests until the Federal Government revert their decision.
Photos and pictures by Moyosore Hicks
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