Lagos State Governor Mr. Babatunde Fashola Wednesday warned residents against indulging in act that could ignite crisis in the state..
Faashola who gave the warning when the Tribunal of enquiry into the June 17th, 2013 crisis at the Michael Otedola College of Primary Education, (MOCPED), Epe, submitted its report to him at the Ikeja, said he would no longer tolerate any act of unrest within the state.
Fashola assured the residents that the state government will urgently examine the recommendations of the tribunal and come up with a white-paper on it. “Citizens must understand that we must put an end to this kind of act. We must show that we are civilized people and we must think of the most civilized platform to express our grievances across to the government without hurting ourselves or people who would be our sympathizers.
“Democracy is built on the right to speak and to participate. And within those rights, there was no right to violence. I think it is important to reinforce the fact that what we are investigating is to know the circumstances that led to the riot. And this is different from protest.
“Protest is legitimate while riot is not. Riot is an unlawful act because it leads to damage of property. And this is unlawful. Whatever the grievances maybe it is not a civilized way to get a right to riot.
“And watching what has happened in Hong Kong recently, none of the student vandalizes cars, burn building or breaking down stalls. Even as they understand that their act is inflicting pain on other citizens, they continued to engage their government.
“We will continue to do what is needed to make the learning institutions better but not everything is possible. Things have to be sequenced.”
Submitting their report, the tribunal led by Professor Idowu Shobowale urged the governor to take over the payment of the salaries of staffs of state tertiary institutions.
Shobowale, a former Commissioner for Education in the state, said it will help address frequent face-off between the staffs of public tertiary institutions in the state and their management.
He called on government to mandate the management of the public tertiary institutions to be more sensitive to the complaints of the students’ entrusted into their care and must be proactive in meeting their genuine needs.
The tribunal chairman was optimistic that if the institutions can achieve this, it will eliminate irresponsible and destructive tendencies on the part of the students at all level of education in the state.