SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: April 11, 2018

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Adekunle Ajasin University | Akungba Akoko

Region & Country:Western Africa | Nigeria

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On April 11, 2018, a large student protest over tuition increases at Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (AAUA) reportedly led to violent confrontations between protesters and police.

AAUA students, along with their parents and other supporters, had been engaged for two days in peaceful protest over a 500% increase in tuition. On the third day of the protests, police reportedly arrived and began dispersing the protesters using teargas. Some students also alleged that police had beaten and fired live ammunition at their colleagues. Police alleged that the protest itself had become violent, with protesters attacking government officials and destroying government property. The confrontation reportedly lead to 46 arrests.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about violence during student protests.  While state authorities have a legitimate interest in maintaining order, they must do so in ways that are proportional to the situation, that respect peaceful expression, and that minimize the risk of physical injury.  Similarly, while students have the right to free expression, that right does not extend to violence or destruction of property; student protest must be undertaken in a manner that is consistent with university values including social responsibility.