– The June 12 protest in southwest will go on despite the withdrawal of the national body of Nigeian students
– According to southwest students, the president of the National Association of Nigerian Students does not speak for for them
– The body consequently urged all student union presidents in southwest to continue their mobilisation and ensure that the protest holds
The National Association of Nigerian Students, Zone D (South-West), has dissociated itself from a statement by the National President, Sunday Asefon, which announced the suspension of a protest the Association planned for June 12.
The NANS President had announced the suspension of the protest in a statement titled, ‘NANS Suspends June 12 Protest Over Concerns About Safety Of Protesters And Fear Of Possible Hijack By Politicians – Comrade Sunday Asefon.’
He said, “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.”
However, NANS Zone D, in a statement titled, ‘June 12 Protest; Sunday Asefon On His Own As Students’ Structure Are Prepared To Storm The Streets,’ said Asefon didn’t speak on behalf of the Association.
The statement was signed by the Coordinator, NANS Zone D, Kowe Odunayo Amos; and Secretary-General, NANS Zone D, Giwa Yisa Temitope.
It read, “It is most pathetic to read the statement issued by the President of NANS, Sunday Asefon calling for the cancellation of the June 12 protest which had been planned for and which has had preparations at top-gear for the execution of such. In fact, it must be put in proper perspective that the statement was issued in his personal capacity as the President of NANS and not on behalf of the association, hence, it does not reflect the position of Nigerian students because no consultation was made before such statement was issued. And, it is to this end he was careful enough to have made use of the first-person singular throughout the cause of writing the statement.
“It should be noted that just yesterday, while Sunday Asefon was busy mouthing the government’s position, students and staffs of Kaduna Polytechnic were being kidnapped.
“As we all know, June 12 is an annual ritual in the country to remember the day the peoples’ right to freely elect their leader was buried. In fact, the day is not about MKO Abiola or any personality as such, but, about the Nigerian people as a whole. And, it is important to state categorically that the essence of tomorrow’s agitation is to show our dissatisfaction as an association against the rising insecurity in the country, the increased inflation rate, peoples’ inability to access health care amongst others and to also call on the government of the day to do more in securing the people of the country.”
“In fact, if some persons somewhere are going around with the tag #BuhariMustGo, that does not mean that they have the capacity to send him out of the Presidential Villa which he presently occupies. Buhari can only be sent packing through an impeachment process on the floor of the National Assembly. So, rather than suspend an agitation because of the activity of some hoodwinked persons, we are duty-bound as an association to come out and clearly state what our position as an association is on the protest that had been called. And, if at all the NANS President has the interests of Nigerian students at heart, he should have used the occasion of his meeting with the IGP to demand the adequate provision of security personnel to protect students during the cause of the protest which is actually the duty of the Police. As an association, we are not preaching Buhari must go, we believe in one Nigeria but, the current challenges confronting us, security-wise is not encouraging.
“As a Zone, we totally dissociate ourselves from the statement of the NANS President and call on SU bodies throughout the South West campuses to maintain the mobilisation which is on the ground. June 12 day of action is sacrosanct and we shall never for any reason succumb to blackmail of any sort. Our agitation is strictly a call for the Federal Government to abide by the social contract willingly entered into with the Nigerian people.”