Activists under the aegis of Labour and Civil Society Coalition, LASCO, will  tomorrow storm Governor Babatunde Fashola’s office at the Alausa secretariat, Ikeja,  to protest the lingering strike by lecturers in the state tertiary institutions.

The activists at a press conference in Lagos, South-West Nigeria, yesterday urged  workers, students, parents and sympathisers to join them at the Nigeria Civil  Service Union secretariat at Alausa, Ikeja, to start a series of indefinite  industrial actions against the government.

They vowed to make Lagos State ungovernable until their demands are met.

The activists accused Governor Fashola’s administration of being insensitive to the  plight of Lagosians, especially in the areas of education and health.

Thousands of students of the Lagos State University, LASU, Lagos State Polytechnic,  LASPOTECH, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, AOCOED and Michael Otedola  College of Primary Education, MOCPED, have been out of classrooms for several months  due to the lecturers’ strike.

“We will storm Alausa to compel Governor Fashola to reverse his neglect of tertiary  institutions in the state and his total disregard of the implementation of  collective agreements reached with ASUU, SSANU, NAAT, NASU, ASUP, SSANIP, SSUCOEN &  COEASU at the federal level since 2009.

“The 20 September ultimatum was the third and final of such that the striking unions  gave the Lagos State Government and until date, the government has remained  insincere and insensitive to the implementation of the collective agreements,”  Comrade Abiodun Aremu, who read LASCO’s statement, said.

“The direct impact of the neglect of tertiary education by Governor Fashola  administration was exposed recently by the results of the June 2010 accreditation  exercise of LASU where the Law faculty failed to pass the accreditation test of NUC.

“The result revealed thus: Total number of programmes accredited -14, number with  full accredited status-4 and number with interim accreditation- 9 and number with  denied accreditation-1. Even the 9 programmes with interim accredited status were  denied accreditation because it was the second time that they were being accorded  such. The implication is that there will be no admission into these courses in  2011/2012 academic year,” Aremu added.

The activist said when the striking lecturers met with the governor on 7 December;  he reduced their demands to wages and asked them to count themselves lucky that they  have a job.

“When we met with the governor, he reminded us that there are only 120, 000 public  servants in Lagos State out of a population of 18 million. He said that we should  count ourselves lucky to even have a job,” Mr. Adeyemi Adesanya, Chairman ,COEASU  (AOCOED), said.

The Chairman of ASUU (LASU), Dr. Kabir Akinyemi, said that the demands of striking  lecturers cannot be reduced to wages.

“It’s true that we deserve better conditions of service, but lecturers need a  conducive environment; the university must be well funded; the infrastructure must  be upgraded, the issue of retirement must be addressed and the issue of internal  autonomy is critical. It is not just about salaries or wages as Governor Fashola is  misinforming the people,” he said.

Ms. Sessi Agnes Funmi, of SSANU (LASU) said it is during Fashola’s administration  that tuition fees in LASU went from N250 to N25,000, without commensurate  improvement in learning.

ASUP Chairman, Lagos State Polytechnic, Mr. Arowolo Olatunji, told journalists that  he did not have an office for the past six years, adding that “students come to meet  me under the tree after lectures. That is how bad the situation is.”

—Simon Ateba, Abiose Luckman, Olarinde Ayodele, Omiyale Samuel & Omisakin Tolupe

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