By Gabriel Dike
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday advised the Nigerian Army and police to rein-in their officers with trigger happy disposition not to attack peaceful protest by students.
ASUU said the call become necessary in view of the ongoing protests forced on the students, who have been out of classrooms for over three months as a result of government attitude to its demands.
The union in a statement signed by ASUU Lagos Zonal Coordinator, Dr. Adelaja Odukoya, acknowledged that the army and police have constitutional responsibilities to protect and not attack, maim or brutalize protesting students across the country.
The zone said government has been accustomed and happy with students passivity and indifference to the neglect and inadequate funding of the universities cannot but be shocked and angered about Nigerians joining force with ASUU over the education of Nigerian youth.
It said: “This patriotic action of the Nigerian students is commendable and gives us hope for our beloved country.
“ASUU is in solidarity with, and have been monitoring the mass protest by students across the country which have been peaceful, orderly and coordinated.”
The union urged the Army and Police High Commands to issue stringent directives of caution to their operatives, who have made two to three attempts at attacking students in order to avoid unnecessary accidents.
According to ASUU, the attempt to crush students with an Army van today (Friday) at the gate of University of Ibadan (UI) is shameful, condemnable and disgraceful. It seems the security operatives are yet to learn anything useful from the #EndSARS revolts.
Odukoya said students, like all citizens, have fundamental rights to protest as enshrined in our Constitution.
“ASUU Lagos Zone salutes our students for their steadfastness and resolute struggle to get the Federal Government to adequately fund education at all levels.”
He said with more organizing and collective actions by the students, parents, civil societies and other stakeholders victory would surely come.