The National Secretariat of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has condemned in clear terms, what it described as the unjustifiable attack launched on peaceful protesting students in Lokoja, Kogi State in the early hours of yesterday.
A statement signed by the national president, NANS, Comrade Chinonso Obasi, GCNS, said Kogi students and Nigerian students at large cannot and should not be made to suffer lingering disagreements between employers and their employees while their schools remained under lock and keys and the future they seek destroyed in their presence.
It would be recalled that the Kogi State Government had been unable to reopen all state-owned Tertiary Institutions which were ordered closed six months ago by the governor of the state, Governor Yahaya Bello, due to unpaid salaries and arrears of staff of the affected institutions.
He said that the refusal of the Kogi State Governor to accede to the demands of the Academic Staff Union and all other affiliated unions is one of the strange expression of how deeply the Kogi State government resents education and staff welfare.
He said, “Our parents are unbearably overstretched by this sheer insensitivity of the State government.
“To add salt to injury, the state government instead of pacifying the students chose to unleash on them an attack under the Almighty instruction of Governor Yahaya Bello.
“This amounts to a flagrant attack on our members for lawfully demanding the reopening of their campuses.
“The NANS leadership is very pained that our members were subjected to massive humiliation by combined security forces mobilised and acting under the instruction of the state governor.”
The NANS leadership demanded the unconditional release of those arrested by the police and reminded Governor Yahaya Bello of its unrelenting continuation of mass protests within and outside Kogi State until all tertiary institutions under lock and keys are reopened for academic resumption.
He stated, “We assure our members of our unflinching support and solidarity.
“No amount of intimidation can deter us.”