Latest: Nigerian Students in Tertiary Institutions Protest, Demands Reopening of School
Students in various tertiary institutions in Nigeria on Wednesday held a Nationwide protest demanding the immediate reopening of tertiary institutions across the country.
The students under the umbrella of the National Association of University Students (NAUS), National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), and National Association of Nigerian Colleges of Education (NANCES), registered their discontent with the continued closure of schools due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The protest which started from the Unity Fountain, Maitama, terminated at the Ministry of Education headquarters at the Federal Secretariat Complex, Abuja.
The Senate President, National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), Comrade Dio Oghale Emeka Rex, said with the re-opening of markets, worship centres and international flights, there was no basis for the continued closure of tertiary institutions.
He said: “The Federal Government is just playing with the future Nigerian students. The cure of Coronavirus is neither in any political party, nor institutions. The pandemic has not taking the life of students that the lockdown has taken.
“Many students have been victimised sexually and many of them have been murdered. Assuming they are in their various institutions, by now most of them would have graduated. Many political parties conducted their primary elections and rallies without regard for social distancing and wearing of facemask.
“The age limit for National Service is 30 years and most of us are 29. If it continue like this, at the end of the day we will not be mobilised for NYSC.”
On his part, a Former Zone A Coordinator, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Umar Farouk, urged the Presidential Task Force (PTF), on COVID-19 to immediately order the reopening of the tertiary institutions.
He said: “The international flights that are about to open should be shut down, the markets should also be closed and all economy shut down. Coronavirus is not an excuse for our campuses to be closed, our campuses must be opened.
“If Edo state can go for rallies and also conduct an election, PTF should order the reopening of our campuses, they cannot continue to be in lockdown.”
Also speaking, National President, National Association of University Students (NAUS), Ije Felix, said the cure of the Coronavirus can only come from researches which are only conducted in the universities.
“It’s fundermental to note that the cure of the virus can only come through research, research are not done anywhere except the campuses, research are not done at home or in the market. If the government is serious with this pandemic, so that professors can begin to conduct researches.
“Nobody gave us money to come and protest in Abuja, we came here to tell Nigerians how we feel, we came to exercise our fundermental human rights. We are also here to tell the Nigerian government that we are tired of staying at home.”
Earlier: Nigerian Students Set to Hold Nationwide Protest Against Closure of Schools
Students in all tertiary institutions in Nigeria are set to embark on a nationwide protest against the closure of schools tomorrow. See full details below.
The leaders of the National Association of University Students (NAUS), National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), and National Association of College of Education Students (NANCES) have declared a nationwide protest tomorrow, August 19th 2020 as the two weeks ultimatum given to the Federal Government to reopen campuses for academic activities has elapsed.
This decision was taken at the end of a virtual meeting yesterday where the leaders of the National Association of University Students (NAUS), National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), and National Association of College of Education Students (NANCES), were in attendance.
The student leaders said they would converge at the Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja, while state coordinators would march to the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) secretariats in their various states.
NANCES president, Mahmud Abubakar, told The Guardian: “The agitation is still one, which is the re-opening of our campuses. We just want to hear from the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, the date for resumption, as we are more open to the deadly coronavirus at home than on campus, and an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”
On his part, NAPS president, Sunday Asuku, said the protest would be peaceful and that security agencies and the International Human Right Commission (IHRC) had been notified.
“It is so disheartening, appalling and unethical knowing that our government doesn’t place priority on education. We all know that COVID-19 is real, but extremely blown out of proportion in Nigeria. Our institutions have been placed under lock and key for good six months with the claim of preventing the spread of COVID-19 on campuses. As much as we appreciate the government for the acclaimed love, we condemn in totality the continued closure of our institutions.
“We understand that COVID-19 couldn’t halt the electoral process in Edo and Ondo states, even with the multitude coverging during rallies. We are tired of guidelines; reopen our school now,” Asuku stated