The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has suspended its planned June 12 nationwide protest.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by Sunday Asefon, NANS President, on Friday.
The association had declared June 12, 2021, as the national day of peaceful protests “to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity in our schools, campuses and also announce a proactive measure or strategy towards ensuring safer schools”.
However, Asefon in his statement explained that he, in conjunction with other executive members, decided to suspend the strike due to the increased political tension in the country and the likelihood of students being put in harm’s way as a result of aggressive actions by security agencies.
According to the NANS President, the association has also uncovered the plot by some politicians to hijack the protest to “ventilate their political opinions and sentiments”.
He added that the planned protest was unconnected to the ‘Buhari Must Go Campaign’ or secessionist campaigns.
The statement read: “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,” he said.
“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.
“Having considered the current security realities and the danger to the lives of our members in case of possible hijack of the planned protest, I in consultation with all the structures of NANS, therefore, announce the suspension of our proposed protest for June 12.
“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 the date. We intend to protest for better security and improved welfare for our students, we must therefore not put the life of any of our students at risk to ventilate our grievances.”
The NANS President insisted that the protest was not cancelled but postponed, stating that a new date will be announced for the demonstration.