National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has rescinded its earlier decision to shut down the country in protest on June 12, citing rising insecurity which may affect the safety of the protesters.
NANS President, Sunday Asefon, in a statement, 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.
“The suspension of the protest is necessary to avoid 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 our students at risk to ventilate our grievances.”
He said that the student leaders have met with the Inspector General of Police, Baba Alkali, and other security agencies, and held series of meetings across the country on the issue.
“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,” he said.
Asefon reiterated that the planned protest was never part of the” Buhari Must Go Campaign” or secessionist campaign, rather a planned protest that was borne out of genuine concerns for the safety of Nigerian students.
He added: “While the cause of the protest remains, we believe the suspension of the protest to a later date is necessary for us to have all attention directed at our protest and not share attention with different groups protesting for different reasons.
“If our voices must be heard clearly and loudly, we must ensure that no other interest, other than ours takes the center stage in our protest.
“As leaders, we are confronted with two difficult choices but we have chosen the one we considered the best for the interest of our members. We cannot afford any of our students being shot or wounded while protesting legitimate causes because of infiltrations or hijack.
“We take full responsibility for the suspension. We will announce a new date for the protest. I, therefore, call on all our structures across the country to suspend the planned protest for a later date that will be announced soon after due consultation with student leaders across the 36 states of the federation including the FCT.