The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said the blockage of a section of the ever busy Lagos-Ibadan expressway by protesting students is a violation of the constitution.
He said this Wednesday while responding to questions from State House reporters after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Protesting the seven-month strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), some members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) blocked the Sagamu Interchange section of the expressway on Tuesday, causing gridlock that affected motorists and passengers.
Fashola, who was asked a question on the recurrent gridlock on the uncompleted sections of the highway, appealed for more patience from Nigerians.
He said there was no alternative route in the already built-up areas.
He said: “Once again, I apologise and empathise with commuters who need that place to get on with their lives. It’s the place we left to the last really because it’s the most built-up area, the last six kilometers into Lagos; very densely populated and occupied. There’s very little room for alternative routes for people. So, you just have to bear with us.
“I also heard that some aggrieved students under the aegis of NANS are going to the road to protest. My respectful view is that is not helpful at all to the citizens. The right to protest is a very well-protected right in our Constitution, but it does not include the right to inflict pain and inconvenience on other people. And so, whilst the protests can go on, they should refrain from blocking the road in order to do their protests. That in itself is a violation of law.”