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Why we suspended June 12 national protest, by NANS

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Wants Security Rejigged Around Campuses
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has debunked speculations that it was bribed to suspend the planned nationwide June 12 Democracy Day protest.

They also appealed to the Federal Government to rescind its ban on Twitter, saying it is one of the most viable platforms with which they connect with their counterparts across the globe.

Addressing newsmen in Enugu to mark the June 12 Democracy Day, the National Public Relations Officer of the association, Ezenagu Victor stated that they suspended the protest immediately they discovered that some politicians with different agenda had perfected plans to hijack it and cause mayhem in the country.

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He explained that NANS believed in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), a development that had helped it to reduce frequency of student’ protests nationwide.

“All along, we chose June 12 as a day all Nigerian students would come out to protest against the insecurity in the country, especially the serial abductions of students. Very close to the planned date, some politicians with different agenda fixed their protest on the same day, demanding that ‘President Buhari must go.’ Because that was not our plan, we decided to suspend the protest.

“The suspension of the protest is necessary to avoid a clash of interest and clash with security 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 same date.

Clarifying allegations that it took bribe from the Federal Government to suspend the planned protest, Victor explained that, “if we were bribed to stop the protest, we wouldn’t have been more crude in addressing this administration as a failed one.

“Obviously, Nigerians and Nigerian students are livid and irate because our joy has been turned to sorrow and our hearts broken by the pain and brutality that our fellow students have suffered in recent times, ranging from the abduction of students of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, #ABU 7, to the abduction of over 20 students of Greenfield University, down to Niger State and several other states. So many students have also lost their lives as a result of the clashes between security agents and unknown gunmen, which have led to Nigerian students living in perpetual fear.  

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“Painfully, we live in a nation where students, numbering over 200 can be easily kidnapped and taken out of their schools/town without any form of resistance from security agencies. This calls for serious concern. We have waited so long for the security around schools to be greatly improved to ensure our students are secure but we have seen little or no improvement. 

“These incessant cases of banditry, herdsmen attacks, operations of the unknown gunmen and kidnapping of our students call for a radical and urgent move by the government to salvage the situation. We have been daunted by the unending news of killings across the length and breadth of the nation such that death appears normal in our society today. These developments are not only unacceptable; they portend great dangers to the very essence of our national unity, progress and development.”

While calling on governments at all levels to rise to the occasion and secure lives and property of Nigerians, which is their first and most important constitutional duty, NANS said it was unacceptable for the nation to be celebrating democracy “when the masses cannot enjoy dividends of democracy.”

The students’ body demanded, amongst other things, “the security architecture around our campuses be re-jigged to ensure maximum security for Nigerian Students studying anywhere.

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