Protest warning: NANS tackles DSS, storms UNILAG tomorrow

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5th September 2023

By Gbenga Oloniniran

The National Association of Nigerian Students has warned that the Department of State Services should not deter students from exercising their rights to protest, saying this is a universally recognised human right.

The National Public Relations Officer of the union, Giwa Temitope, was reacting to the statement of the DSS that some politicians were mobilising student leaders for violent protest against the Federal Government over socioeconomic matters.

“Intelligence reports have indicated that the plotters include certain politicians who are desperately mobilising unsuspecting student leaders, ethnic-based associations, youth, and disgruntled groups for the planned action,” the spokesperson for the security agency, Peter Afunanya, had said on Monday.

PUNCH Online reported last week that a student group, Student Solidarity Group Against Fee Hike, had said it would commence a protest against fee hike at the University of Lagos on Wednesday, September 6, 2023.

Backing the move, the NANS PRO in a statement sent to our correspondent on Tuesday said the student body would be storming UNILAG for the protest, asking the DSS not to infringe on the rights of students.

Giwa said, “It is quite embarrassing that the DSS has derailed to become the propaganda arm of the Federal Government thereby raising false alarms and even interfering in affairs that do not in anyway relate to their line of profession.

“As an association, we maintain that we are not satisfied with how the Nigerian society is being run most especially as regards arbitrary fee increment across our tertiary institutions, with the University of Lagos being a model.”

NANS said the failure of the UNILAG management to honour the agreement reached at the meeting with student leaders on August 2 had “forced the student body to fix a date of action at the university for September 6 and the protest shall hold till the management reverses the hike.”

The UNILAG management in July 2023 increased fees from N19,000 to N190,250 for students studying medicine while for courses that require laboratory and studio, the students were to pay N140,250. The management cited “prevailing economic realities” as reason for the hike.

Stating further, Giwa said, “Students are therefore enjoined to come out en masse and join the protest for the immediate reversal of fee at the University of Lagos.”

Culled From Punch 

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