Few weeks ago, the authorities of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) shut down the institution, denying students access to hostels after the students had protested harsh living conditions and lack of some basic amenities. The Senate of the school however on Friday, 22nd April 2016, announced its decision to re-open the institution.
Some returning students who happened to be “squatters” were shut out of the hostels, and had to find elsewhere to put up. These homeless UNILAG students are now forced to sleep in the most unlikely and undignified places.
UNILAG Senate on re-opening the school had set some mandatory conditions for UNILAG students before they would be allowed into the halls of residence or participate in the first semester examinations for the 2015/2016 academic session. These included filling and submission of an undertaking form, as well as an indemnity form to be completed by parents and guardians.
The circular posted by the school’s Senate on the matter reads:
“The University shall re-open for full academic activities on Monday, May 2, 2016, and the first semester 2015/2016 session examinations shall commence on May 9, 2016. Returning students must sign an undertaking to be of good behaviour, which must be properly endorsed by their parents/guardians.
“Completed undertaking forms, which must be notarised and parent’s indemnity form should be submitted at the various departments and a clearance obtained. Students accommodated in halls of residence are to obtain a clearance from the departmental officer, which must be presented at the halls of residence to gain access into their rooms.
“The clearance would be required to gain access into examination halls. No student would be readmitted without completing the above process.”
See Also: UNILAG Resumes Academic Activities
A physically challenged 200-Level student of the Department of Mass Communication, Social Sciences, was quoted to have said,
“A good number of students slept outside the hostel. I personally would have slept outside, but for the intervention of some hostels porters, I was allowed into the hostel at about 1 am. You can imagine students who come from around the country, who have no relatives in Lagos being forced to sleep outside. It is cruel and unfair for students to be denied entrance into their hostels when examination is coming up on Monday.”
Another UNILAG Student also bitterly complained that:
“It’s as though we’re animals or worst still slaves. What have we done wrong? Students are no longer safe, no priority is placed on our security. I truly fear for what the future may hold. A school that would let their students sleep outside, open to all vices of nature. Are we supposed to start exams on Monday when people who were squatting aren’t even allowed in to pick their books?”
A statement by the Deputy Registrar/Head of Media, University of Lagos, Mr. Toyin Adebule, said the school administration took the measure in an attempt to curb the menace of squatters on campus for security reasons.