Friday, September 30, 2022

ASUU Strike: Students blocking Lagos-Ibadan highway in protest violating law, says Fashola 

The minister said the right to protest as protected in the Constitution does not give right to inflict pain on others.

• September 14, 2022
Babatunde Fashola (credit: BBC)
Babatunde Fashola (Credit: BBC)

Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Works and Housing, has told the protesting students demonstrating and blocking the ever-busy Lagos-Ibadan expressway, that they are “violating the law.”

“The right to protest is a very well-protected right in our Constitution, but it does not include the right to inflict pain and inconvenience on other people,” Mr Fashola asserted on Wednesday. “And so, whilst the protests can go on, they should refrain from blocking the road in order to do their protests. That in itself is a violation of law,”

Public university students under the aegis of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on Tuesday, began a protest on the expressway, calling on President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime to end the protracted ASUU strike. 

The action of the university students had led to heavy gridlock at the Sagamu Interchange, leaving many travelers and motorists plying the route stranded for several hours.  

Addressing State House Correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja, Mr Fashola said that the country’s Constitution, though, recognises the rights of the citizens to protest but does not empower anyone to ‘inflict pains’ on others. 

He pleaded with motorists using the route to exercise patience saying that there was no alternative to the road. 

“There is very little room for alternative routes for people. So, you just have to bear with us,” the minister said. 

The protesting students had lamented the seven-months-old strike that has crippled academic activities in the country’s public universities.

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