Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

The federal government Wednesday described as illegal the blockage of Lagos-Ibadan expressway by members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) to protest the ongoing strike by lectures under the aegis of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said this while fielding questions from State House correspondents at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said the Nigerian constitution recognises the rights of citizens to public protests but does not empower any Nigerian to “inflict pain and inconvenience on other people.”

“Once again, I apologise and empathise with commuters who need that place to get on with their lives. It’s the place we left to the last really because it’s the most built-up area, the last six kilometers into Lagos; very densely populated and occupied. There’s very little room for alternative routes for people. So, you just have to bear with us.

“I also heard that some aggrieved students under the aegis of NANS are going to the road to protest. My respectful view is that is not helpful at all to the citizens.

“The right to protest is a very well-protected right in our Constitution, but it does not include the right to inflict pain and inconvenience on other people. And so, whilst the protests can go on, they should refrain from blocking the road in order to do their protests. That in itself is a violation of law,” he said.

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