The Lagos State Police Command has warned aggrieved varsity students protesting the seven-month industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities to desist from any plan to block the Third Mainland Bridge in Nigeria’s economic capital.
The spokesman for the police command in the state, Benjamin Hundeyin, told Channels Television on Wednesday morning that though students or any group have the right to protest they also have no right to restrict others’ movement.
“They can protest but they can’t infringe on other people’s right to movement,” Hundeyin told our correspondent in a telephone chat.
Hundeyin also said police officers have been stationed at the end of the bridge which spans over 11.8km to prevent any form of blockage.
Earlier in a string of tweets, the police spokesman on Wednesday said protesters cannot hold about 20 million Lagosians to ransom by blocking major roads and preventing them from going about their socio-economic activities.
“Our officers led by DPO Adeniji Adele, CSP Lanre Edegbai, are fully on the ground at that end of the bridge. The same applies to other points. Have no fear. We got you covered.
“We will not allow any person or group of persons to deprive Lagosians of their Right to Freedom of Movement. Everyone’s rights must be respected!” he tweeted.
According to reports, aggrieved students had threatened to block the Third Mainland Bridge. The bridge reputed to be the busiest in Nigeria, alongside the Carter Bridge and Eko Bridge, connect the Island area of Lagos to the mainland.
A national executive member of the National Association of Nigerian Students, however, told Channels Television on Wednesday that the body will no longer execute its plan.
However FW had earlier reported that the protesting students on Monday blocked the access roads to the Murtala Muhammad International Airport in Lagos, paralysing activities in the axis, with many flights rescheduled as passengers were stranded in the gridlock for over eight hours.
The protesting students had last week blocked the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Ibadan-Ife Road.
NANS also threatened to block the Kaduna-Abuja Road as well as roads leading to the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport in Abuja to drive home their demands.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has dragged ASUU before the National Industrial Court and the court has adjourned the case to today (Wednesday).