The management of the University of Lagos has suspended all academic activities on the campus.
A statement on Friday said the decision was reached at a meeting of the university senate.
It said, “The Senate of the University of Lagos, at an emergency meeting on Thursday, April 7, 2016, considered the situation on campus occasioned by the ongoing agitation of the student body over poor electricity and water supply in the community, and the difficulty faced by a large number of students living off campus to attend classes as a result of the fuel crisis.
“Senate noted that the problem of poor municipal services is a national issue that governments at both state and federal levels are addressing.
“However, in order to forestall a further breakdown of law and order on campus, Senate resolved to take the following decisions until the situation normalises: All academic activities on campus are hereby suspended with immediate effect. The university is therefore closed with immediate effect.”
The statement ordered that students living on the campus should vacate their halls of residence, adding that no student should remain in the halls of residence after 10a.m on Friday.
During a visit to the campus, Saturday PUNCH observed that no fewer than 15 police vans and two armoured tanks barricaded the two major roads leading to the school.
The school main gate was shut as scores of students were prevented from going out by some of the student leaders, who insisted that the school was not closed.
Some of the undergraduates, however, began scaling the fence and sneaking through the opening under the gate in desperate bids to get out.
Later, the students opened the gate and said those who wanted to leave could do so.
The President of the University of Lagos Students Union, Mohammed Olaniyan, said the management ordered the police to arrest him and the school’s Public Relations Officer, Jumai Fabuyi, without any reason.
While Olaniyan was said to have been rough-handled and his phones seized, Fabuyi was said to have been beaten and injured in the hand by the police.
The ULSU president said the protest, which started on Wednesday, was peaceful, adding that the students were surprised when they saw the police and armoured tanks at the school’s gate.
He said, “We started the protest on Wednesday at 2pm at the amphitheatre and we moved round the school. We went to see the Dean of Students Affairs, and then to the Senate House to see the Vice Chancellor. There were some issues we had been asking the management to talk about, but they had been running away.
“When we were not attended to on Wednesday, we continued on Thursday morning. The congressmen and women asked to see the VC, that if I could not answer their questions, then the VC should address them. We moved round again and the management failed to attend to us.
“The issue of power is a national challenge and it does not affect UNILAG alone. We are aware of this. But we have questioned the management of the school on generators. There are four spaces for generators on the campus, but we only have two that provide 30 per cent of power to the school. We asked about the two remaining generators and why they had not been moved in after they had been paid for since December, 2015. But we didn’t get any answer.
“On the issue of water, we have UNILAG Venture that produces UNILAG bread and UNILAG water. A bag of pure water on campus is N200, whereas we buy outside for N100. The UNILAG bread is N250, but we buy outside for N200. We asked questions from the school management why other people are not allowed to bring in water and bread. But the school refused to answer us. We say no to monopoly.”
The student leader said the school was not closed, urging his colleagues to return to school on Monday.
But the UNILAG Public Relations Officer, Toyin Adebule, said the students’ claims were false, adding that the university planned to have its press conference to address the issues.
He said, “It is a lie. All they said is not true. We will have our press conference soon where the Dean of Students Affairs will address all the issues. You will be briefed on it soon.”
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