Following the Nigerian students’ plans to occupy the Third Mainland Bridge and other important government facilities in Lagos State in opposition to the more than seven-month-long strike action launched by lecturers in public universities, police officers have seized the bridge to thwart the protest.
Operatives from the Lagos State Police Command were sent to patrol both ends of the bridge under the direction of CSP Lanre Edegbai, DPO of Adeniji Adele in order to prevent a potential demonstration against the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ strike, there is a plan to patrol the Third Mainland Bridge.
Benjamin Hundeyin, the Command’s spokesman, tweeted on Wednesday that the police will not permit any individual or organization to restrict people’s freedom of movement.
He tweeted: “We will not allow any person or group of persons deprive Lagosians of their Right to Freedom of Movement. Everyone’s rights must be respected!”
This comes after the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), the student organization, on Monday blocked the route leading to Ikeja’s Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
There were conflicting reactions to the obstruction in Nigeria, with some Nigerians applauding the students and others accusing them of punishing commuters for the failure of politicians.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) went on strike on February 14 to demand that the federal government execute the 2009 Agreement on how to fund higher education in Nigeria.
The strike was originally intended to be a four-week warning strike, but after the federal government failed to uphold the agreement, the group declared an indefinite strike.
The federal government has now claimed that it lacks the funding necessary to carry out the deal and has urged the university lecturers to get back to the classroom in the best interests of Nigerian students.