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NANS calls off Democracy day protests over students safety

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

 

Less than 24 hours to Democracy Day Celebration, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has called off planned protests centered on insecurity and other challenges affecting schools over the safety of its members arising from plans by other groups to hijack the planned demonstration across the country.

The students said that suspension of the Democracy day demonstration designed to request better security and improved welfare for their members was further considered to avoid clashes of interest particularly with law enforcement agencies that are on red alert to protect the nation’s infrastructures from security breaches on the proposed date as a result of many other protests slated for the date.

According to NANS, a new date for the protest will be fixed for the protest, especially a date that would not be clashing with other groups demonstrating to get the Federal Government’s attention to activities affecting their members across the country.

The President of NANS, Sunday Asefon, in a statement released on Friday and made available to newsmen, said that suspension of the protest was necessary to avoid putting the lives of students that would be trooping out to ventilate their displeasure over the development at risk.

Asefon noted that while the main focus of demonstrations remains unchanged, its suspension to a later date was for them to have all attention including from Media organisations directed at their protests and that shared attention would not draw the needed publicity required for President Muhammadu Buhari to understand their plight.

The student leader, who reiterated that their demonstrations were not to support Buhari Must Go Campaign and other groups advocating for Secessionist including Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) and others, stressed that the protest which would be organised after the democracy day was borne out of their genuine concerns for a safer atmosphere within the schools across the country.

“In the last week, I have met with the Inspector General of Police, other security agencies, held series of meetings with student leaders across the country. While everyone agreed that the context of the planned protest is genuine and we reserve the right to protest, the palpable tension surrounding the date has come under special scrutiny.

“Let me reiterate that our plan protest was never part of the Buhari Must Go Campaign or Secessionist Campaign, our planned protest was borne out of our genuine concerns for the safety of our students.

“However, some politicians with different agendas to ours have concluded plans to hijack the protest to ventilate their political opinions and sentiments. While every Nigerians reserve the right to their opinion and the right to protest, it will be dangerous to our members if the protest is hijacked as the security agencies have shared with us credible intelligence in this regard.

“When some of these political players discovered that we have seen their plans and their initial solidarity with us is fake and an avenue to use our platform to ventilate their divisive agenda, they resulted in blackmailing us with lies and fake news on their platform”, he added,

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