The Federal Government, yesterday claimed that the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) protesters who had blocked a busy part of the Lagos-Ibadan highway because of the ASUU strike were “violating” the law.
This was said by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, SAN, after the weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting, which was held in the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in Abuja under the chairmanship of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Nigerian Constitution (as amended), according to the Minister, recognizes and defends individuals’ rights to participate in public rallies but forbids any Nigerian from “inflicting pain and annoyance on other persons.”
The Minister’s explanation came on the heels of the report that the ASUU strike embarked upon by NANS on Tuesday caused a gridlock on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, leaving motorists and passengers stranded.
The protest took place just after the Sagamu Interchange section of the expressway, towards Lagos.
The protesting students carried placards with different inscriptions and chanted solidarity songs as they lamented the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, that has been prolonged for seven months.
They vowed to lay siege on the major highway and others to drive home their demand to end the strike.
But fielding questions from journalists on the recurrent gridlock on the uncompleted sections of the highway, Fashola appealed for more patience from Nigerians saying that there is no alternative route in the already built-up areas.