The Federal Government, on Wednesday, September 14, said that the protesting members of the National Association of Nigerian students, NANS, that blocked a traffic-laden section of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, due to the ASUU strike, are “violating” the country’s law.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, SAN, stated this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to the Minister, the Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) recognises and protects citizens’ right to public protests but does not empower any Nigerian to “inflict pain and inconvenience on other people.”
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.