•Jakande opposes hike, ACN seeks understanding
THE Fashola administration’s increment of fees for Lagos State University (LASU) students and toll collection on the Lekki-Epe Expressway are still eliciting divergent reactions among stakeholders.
For example, the state chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has appealed to Lagosians to be patient and show understanding on the issues.
The party said the actions of the government were informed by the desire to leave indelible landmarks in Lagos and ensure that Lagosians get the best of every sector.
But LASU’s founding father, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, has urged Governor Babatunde Fashola to reverse the newly-introduced fees regime in LASU in order not destroy the state’s heritage.
Jakande, a former governor of the state, who founded the institution in December 1983, made the appeal in Lagos during the third convocation ceremony of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Ogba, just as he advised the Federal Government to honour the agreement it entered with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Joe Igbokwe, the Lagos ACN said it was not unmindful of the weight the increment of fees would exert on Lagosians, but said it was only for incoming students and to ensure that LASU was upgraded to one of the best institutions.
It also said it was proud of the type of work done on the Lekki-Epe Expressway and that the toll on the road was to ensure that such high standards were maintained and spread to other parts of the state.
“We note that many of our people pay higher fees in sub-standard schools in some neighbouring countries and we feel that LASU could be made attractive and well standardised for our people by charging something commensurate with the expected services the school should render. We also note that Lagosians pay far higher fees in some private universities that offer sub-standard services to our people.
“On the Lekki-Epe Expressway, we want to state that the road was concessioned to a company, which provided a world class road. The toll is only natural since the company must recover what it spent on the road. We call on Lagosians to demonstrate understanding on this issue and we want to point out that alternative roads have been provided for those that do not want to pay. “We believe this is fair enough to encourage competent companies to invest in our decaying infrastructures. Concessioning is a way of saving scarce funds for other sectors and if we acknowledge that Lagos requires over $50 billion to build and upgrade its infrastructural needs, we will see the wisdom in getting companies to build, manage and transfer some critical infrastructures in Lagos. We point out that Lagos is experiencing massive population pressure by the day and this puts a great challenge on the resources of the state that the Lagos State government alone cannot meet this rising demand,” the party said.
A lawyer, Ebun Olu Adegoruwa, had filed an injunction at the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, seeking to stop the state government from collecting toll fees at the Lekki Expressway, which is slated to begin on December 18, 2011. .
In a motion on notice filed before the court, Adegoruwa prayed for an order of injunction restraining the government and the Lekki Concession Company Limited (LCC) from collecting toll fees, tariffs or any such levies from the applicants or any other person for the purpose of granting access to and use of any portion or part of the Eti-Osa/Lekki-Epe Expressway pending the hearing and final determination of the appeal of the applicant.
Other respondents in the suit include the Lagos State Works Management Board, Attorney-General of Lagos State and Eti-Osa Local Government Council.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) had recently besieged Fashola’s office to demand the immediate reversion of all increments of tuition fees at LASU.
Spokesperson of NANS, who is also Chairman, Joint Campus Committee (JCC,) Lagos axis, Aibana Adeyemi, described the increment of the fees to N250,000 as an “attempt to deprive indigent students of benefiting from tertiary education.”
He warned that if the governor refuses to yield to their demands, the students might be forced to confront the government.
In a statement made available to journalists, the union enumerated its demands, which include the reinstatement of LASU Students’ Union, opening of Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education and improvement of infrastructure on campuses.
However, officials of the state government refused attending to the rampaging students as security operatives barricaded the main
entrance to the governor’s office.
Man United and Arsenal Go Head To Head In The Premier League on DStv
It’s another big weekend for Manchester United as they face Arsenal in the English Premier League on Sunday November 1, 2020.
Still battling with a wobbly start to the new season, the Red Devils will be looking forward to ending their home games woes as they face the Gunners at the Old Trafford in the Super Sunday match.
United head into the match under intense pressure to regain fans’ confidence and get its Premier League campaign on track after an unimpressive home run. They have won their last 10 away games in all competitions but none of their last five at home.
It is United’s worst start to a season at Old Trafford in the last 48 years.
The once dreaded Old Trafford where opponents visit with their hearts in their mouths is fast becoming a common ground after United suffered 3-1 loss to Crystal Palace, 6-1 to Tottenham and refused to score a goal against the Blues last weekend. It is left to be seen whether Arsenal will come close to repeating the 6-1 plummeting of United by its North London rivals.
Despite losing 1-0 to Leicester City on Monday night, the Gunners boss, Mikel Arteta, will be boosted by the fact that his side has a head to head advantage over United in their last three encounters.
The head to head record appears to favour Arsenal having won two and drawn one of the duo's last three league meetings while United’s last win against Arsenal was in the FA Cup in 2019.
Arsenal presently at 10th place on nine points travel to Old Trafford on Sunday without Gabriel Martinelli, Pablo Mari, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers have all been ruled out with injury. David Luiz who picked up a muscular injury against Leicester is also unsure for the game yet.
United with seven points sits at 15th place will also be without Anthony Martial still serving his domestic suspension, while Eric Bailly, Jesse Lingard and Phil Jones are all ruled out with injury.
While we look forward to the epic battle at Old Trafford this weekend live on DStv, we cannot lose sight of matches from the 18 other Premier League clubs that will all be in action this weekend. The games will also be live on
SuperSport Premier League for all DStv customers.
Kwara Governor, Abdulrazaq Declares 24-hour Curfew
Following the outbreak of violence in some quarters of the State, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State has declared a 24-hour Curfew on the state starting on Saturday.
Governor Abdulrazaq made this known in a statewide broadcast on Friday night.
Recall that on Friday some residents of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital stormed the warehouses where the government stored COVID-19 palliatives expected to be distributed to citizens.
Also Read: BREAKING: Lagos Government Relaxes Curfew
The warehouses, located at the cargo warehouse of the International airport in Ilorin as well as the agro-mall located in the Sango area of the state were totally ransacked as residents struggled to pack as much food items as they could.
Abdulrazaq said, “Lives are being threatened. Businesses are being looted. Public properties have been targeted. This is unacceptable. It is not who we are.
“To curb these acts of criminalities, I hereby declare a 24-hour curfew in Ilorin metropolis from midnight today October 23rd, 2020. This is in line with Sections 1, 2, and 4 of the Public Order Act Chapter 382 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.
“People are urged to stay indoors in compliance with this curfew. This will be reviewed as we watch developments.
“Our observation is that what has happened today is not a protest, it cannot be defended under any guide, it was a pure act of criminality as some people are hiding under the guise of nationwide protest.”
Lagos Policemen Brutalise PUNCH Journalists For Covering #EndSARS Protest
Two PUNCH journalists, Femi Dawodu and Segun Odunayo, were on Wednesday brutalised by policemen guarding the Lagos State House of Assembly in Ikeja.
The duo had gone to cover events around the Alausa area, a major demonstration ground of the #EndSARS protesters calling for a total overhaul of the Nigeria Police Force.
According to the PUNCH, both Odunayo and Dawodu were recording a live video of activities in the area when the policemen accosted them and ordered them to stop the recording.
After showing the policemen their identity cards, indicating that they are journalists covering #EndSARS protests and monitoring compliance with the government-imposed curfew, the policemen became annoyed and pounced on them.
Odunayo said the policemen tortured them for four hours, adding that they stripped them of their clothes, laid them on the floor, beat them with a stick and guns, and took a video recording of them while torturing them at the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Odunayo said, “Femi and I were at the Secretariat in Alausa around 7 am and were doing a live video of the activities going on in the area. We were heading back to the expressway when a group of armed policemen accosted us at the Lagos State House of Assembly roundabout and immediately collected our phones. We showed them our ID cards, but they refused to let us go.
“What got the policemen annoyed was that we saw them using a stick and a rubber to beat a young man, and during the live video, they heard me saying that they were beating someone. So, after they arrested us, they tortured us and demanded that we should do another live video denying the statement, but we refused.
“Each Time we refused, they slapped us, used a stick to beat us, used the butt of their guns to hit our heads and bodies after stripping us of our clothes. All they wanted was for us to do another live broadcast to claim that we lied and we didn’t because we told the truth.”
Dawodu said it took the intervention of the state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi before they were released at the Alausa Police Station, adding that before their release, the policemen took their details, including their addresses, took a video record of them and threatened to go after them if any negative report was published about what happened.
He said, “The policemen were transferring the aggression of what is happening regarding the #EndSARS protest on us. They later took us to the Divisional Police Station in Alausa, and if not for the DPO, the policemen guarding the LSHA that arrested us would have done more grievous things to us.
“The PPRO and the DPO later spoke with them, and we were released.
“But despite his intervention, we were told to write statements. They collected our details, address, took video recordings of us making false statements during the torture, and threatened to use it to blackmail and go after us if we end up doing any bad report against them.”
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