Opinion: Fashola, APC and LASU school fees hikes

by Sodiq Adewunmi Sanni


This  LASU fee hike is a daylight robbery on all Lagosian, it is a deliberate attempt  to deny the masses the opportunity to join the upper class through their anti-masses policy, because a free and compulsory education at all level would have serve as succour for the poor masses
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
The astronomical increase in Lagos State University school fees in 2011 from a not easily obtainable N25,000 to N250,000, that is beyond the reach of even the  so called middle class of Lagos state, is no longer news.  Just as the several protests, lockdown of the university and pleads by prominent Lagosians, youth forums, Civil Society Organizations, Unions in LASU; LASUSU, ASUU-LASU, SSANU-LASU, are becoming a nuisance to all and sundry.

Just recently, it was reported that the Special Adviser on Education to Lagos State government, Otuba Fatai Olukoga, who oversees the affairs of tertiary institutions in the state vowed that the state government is resolved to sack the striking lecturers. If they persist in their agitation for the reversal of LASU school fees by not calling off their strike. From all indication, the student union leadership won’t be left out of the clampdown by the repressive and un-progressive state government after it launched the #NoReductionNoResumption campaign. It is all a matter of time, let the Union be prepared.
The above report credited to the S.A on Education is a clear indication that the APC led administration of Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, has lost track on what a government voted by the masses in a state where 75% of its population feeds below one dollar per day and its civil servants earn 18,000 as minimum wage ought to do or prioritise.
This act further reinstate the elitist nature of governor Fashola’s administration, which encourages civil servants, to grab as much as they could to protect the interest of their children. It is also a government that celebrates and encourages crime because every youth denied access to education which ordinarily should be a leveller would find succour in crime.
In the views of Nelson Mandela, “equality of opportunity through education is key to emancipation”, a principle yet to be realized in Nigeria, or elsewhere. Madiba posits that the best way you could empower the masses is through the power of Education, since it is the catalyst to change.  Education enlightens the citizens to the rights and obligations in the society, invariably, the position of Gov. Fashola, is antithetical to change, a brighter rewarding future and a clog in the wheel of change.
The progressives as they today called themselves profess to be following the ideologies of the late Sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Fortunately for us on the side of common sense and unfortunate for the “progressives”, Awo opined that, “In order to attain to the goals of economic freedom and prosperity, Nigeria must do certain things as a matter of urgency and priority. It must provide free education (at all levels) and free health facilities for the masses of its citizens.” To this end, Gov. Raji failed woefully, APC failed substantially and all those who kept quite while a tinny few subject the majority to servitude can be classified as retrogressives. Under this canopy of retrogressives are all ex-unionist, ex-lasuites and administrative staff sabotaging efforts to regain economic liberty and freedom for all.
Chief Obafemi Awolowo believed it’s only through education that a society could achieve development, patriotic citizenship and unity, inculcate the spirit of nationalism and bridge the gap between the social classes. “Any people that are starved with books, especially the right type of books, will suffer intellectual malnutrition, stagnation and atrophy,” Awolowo said in one of his famous quotes.
This LASU fee hike is a daylight robbery on all Lagosian, it is a deliberate attempt  to deny the masses the opportunity to join the upper class through their anti-masses policy, because a free and compulsory education at all level would have serve as succour for the poor masses, if the likes of Jakande and Awolowo had denied the present ruling class access to education, the likes of Fashola, Ikuforiji, Olukoga, Opeifa, and their cohorts  who study through free scholarship throughout their study years would be nowhere in today’s Lagos.
The increment has caused more havoc than good, LASU used to be the best state university in Nigeria, our faculty of law happens to be one of the best not just in Nigeria but in Africa as a whole, our college of medicine is one of the best in Nigeria as well as our faculty of Education, where are all this achievement today, they have disappear like tiny lights.  Our LASU is now known for troubles, strikes and incessant protests, we today alternate between peace and havoc; one day peace, one day wahala. If Mr. Babatunde Fashola thinks he has a few months to use in power, he should remember history would never forget the oppressors and those who misuse power.
My candid advice to Lagosians is, if the APC led government in Lagos State is adamant to our yearning, thus, denying us the power of the pen, a deliberate attempt to make us the slaves of their children, it’s high time we all revolt and deny them the power of our votes and kick them out of office.
Lagos belongs to all of us and not a selected few. We shall overcome.

Sanni Sodiq Adewunmi, was ex-Speaker, Lagos State University Students Union, 2012/2013 academic session.


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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