The National of Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) yesterday said some desperate political actors in Lagos fuelled the Lagos State University (LASU) crisis to score what the group described as cheap political points.
The association, therefore, warned such political forces â€œto desist from dragging LASU into political muddy waters,â€ noting that the institution was duly established by a statute to cater for the tertiary education of the stateâ€™s residents.
The NANS gave the warning in a statement by the Chairman of NANS Lagos chapter, Mr. Yaqub Eleto, blaming the January 23 riot was majorly on the gross mismanagement of the crisis by the LASU Vice-Chancellor, Prof. John Obafunwa.
But the statement said the association â€œhas engaged the state government at every given opportunity from the first day we took over office. We decided on diplomacy because of the influx of desperate political forces, who have called on us severally and indicated their interest to sponsor our protests if we decide on one.â€
According to the statement, the high profile individuals, mostly of opposition political parties, obviously had no good intentions for the progress of LASU and its students.
It also said NANS â€œhas never encouraged violence or destructions during protests even in the face of provocation as no justification can be alluded to. Again, we do not encourage students to disobey guidelines and regulations of their schools on administrative matters.
â€œBut the conduct of the LASU management team on this matter was as if they wanted the crisis at the first place. Student leaders and affected students pleaded endlessly with the VC, all to no avail.
â€œUltimately, the crisis has propelled the LASU tuition regime to the front burner of public discourse, which we are also making serious effort towards constant appeal to Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) for critical downward review because of its remote and long term effect.â€
The statement added that NANS Lagos axis was at the forefront in advocating for non-payment for damages/reparation fee incurred during the January 23 protest by students.
The statement added that the request was granted through a constructive engagement with the governor, who eventually paid the N51 million estimated damages, even though the VC had claimed that cost of damages was N300 million.