The Students Solidarity Group against Fee Hike has commended the courage and determination of University of Lagos students protesting inadequate housing arrangements.
In a press statement released by the group on Monday, the group revealed that the students action exposed corruption by hostel racketeers and private agents who are preying on students. They made it known that these issues will be addressed at a campus-wide meeting.
The statement added that despite assurances from the Dean of Students Affairs that the hostel allocation process was fair, many students are still without housing and remain deeply dissatisfied. They express disappointment by this outcome, stating that the outcome is contrary to the university’s stated mission to provide a supportive learning environment. They call on the administration to address these concerns and take action to ensure all students have housing.
The statement reads: “The Students Solidarity Group against Fee Hike notes with great admiration the sheer courage and strength displayed by a group of conscious students of the University of Lagos who are currently protesting in the front space of the office of the Dean, Students Affairs UNILAG to express their grievances at the abysmal, poorly coordinated and highly flawed arrangements that has left over 70% members of this special community helpless, stranded and exposed to the brute market forces of hostel racketeers and private agents – some of whom we believe are being aided and abetted by officials of the University.
“Despite claims by the DSA, Prof. Musa Obalola that the hostel allocation exercise was conducted in line with a set of “ground rules” which he personally monitored strictly to guarantee fairness to all students and disallow all forms of sharp practices that are customary to getting campus accommodation, we are incredibly disappointed at the entire feedback from students who have been unable to secure bed spaces after being forced to pay the exorbitant obligatory undergraduate school fees which was the major precondition to be eligible to apply for a bed space.
“The management in its usual, discouraging disposition of turning deaf ears to the demands of students under the flimsy guise of dwindling revenue from the Federal Government has yet again failed to improve the deplorable state of the hostel facilities.
“We have always known that it’s just a matter of time before the fee crisis and its ripple effects will cause an implosion.
“We hereby align totally with the demands of the protest- for a decent/fair bedspace allocation to students and our longstanding and unbending demand for fees to fall.
“We are also seizing this medium to prepare the minds of all students towards the MOTHER OF ALL CONGRESSES which will be called shortly, as we promised during the last press conference.
This congress will address all issues affecting us and we will collectively chart a way forward.
“It’s also important to advise student leaders that this is not a time to hide behind a finger. It’s rather a time to show the leadership you promised your fellow students during your respective campaigns. History will be kind to you if you stood for what is right at this crucial time.”