Following the commencement of the protest held by the National Association of Nigerian Students(NANS), with regards to the ongoing ASUU strike, the Federal Government, on Wednesday, said blocking a busy section of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway was going against the law.
This was expressed by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola during a brief for the State House Correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting at Abuja. The Minister stated that the constitution of the country contains the right of citizens to protest but not at the expense of others’ comfort.
The protest staged by students of Nigeria who have been greatly affected by the ASUU strike has resulted in gridlock on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. This action has affected many motorists and passengers. They were seen carrying placards and expressing their displeasure over the strike.
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Fashola however pleaded with commuters around the area and stated that there were no alternative routes as at that moment. He said, “Once again, I apologize and empathize with commuters who need that place to get on with their lives. It’s the place we left to be 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 it 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.”