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Nigerian Students’ Leader, Asefon Is On His Own, He Can’t Suspend June 12 Protest — South-West Students
According to a report by SaharaReporters, the National Association of Nigerian Students (Zone D) has asked members of the association to embark on a nationwide protest tomorrow, June 12.
Kowe Odunayo Amos, Coordinator of NANS (Zone D), in a statement obtained by SaharaReporters lambasted the association’s President for suspending the planned rally, describing it as ‘his personal opinion and not on behalf of the association.’
Odunayo added that while Asefon was busy mouthing government’s position, students and staff members of Kaduna Polytechnic were being kidnapped.
The statement read, “It is most pathetic to read the statement issued by the President of NANS, Sunday Asefon, calling for the cancellation of the June 12 protest which had been planned for and which has had preparations at top-gear for the execution of such.
“In fact, it must be put in proper perspective that the statement was issued in his personal capacity as the President of NANS and not on behalf of the association, hence, it does not reflect the position of Nigerian students because no consultation was made before such statement was issued. And, it is to this end he was careful enough to have made use of first person singular throughout the cause of writing the statement.
“It should be noted that just yesterday, while Sunday Asefon was busy mouthing government’s position, students and staff members of Kaduna Polytechnic were being kidnapped.
“As we all know, June 12 is an annual ritual in the country to remember the day the peoples’ right to freely elect their leader was buried. In fact, the day is not about MKO Abiola or any personality as such, but, about the Nigerian people as a whole.
“And, it is important to state categorically that the essence of tomorrow’s agitation is to show our dissatisfaction as an association against the rising insecurity in the country, the increased inflation rate, peoples’ inability to access health care amongst others and to also call on the government of the day to do more in securing the people of the country.
“In fact, if some persons somewhere are going around with the tag #BuhariMustGo, that does not mean that they have the capacity to send him out of the Presidential Villa which he presently occupies. Buhari can only be sent packing though an impeachment process at the floor of the National Assembly.
“So, rather than suspend an agitation because of the activity of some hoodwinked persons, we are duty-bound as an association to come out and clearly state what our position as an association is on the protest that had been called.
“And, if at all the NANS President has the interests of Nigerian students at heart, he should have used the occasion of his meeting with the IGP (Inspector-General of Police) to demand adequate provision of security personnel to protect students during the cause of the protest which is actually the duty of the Police. As an association, we are not preaching Buhari must go, we believe in one Nigeria but, the current challenges confronting us, security-wise is not encouraging.
“As a Zone, we totally dissociate ourselves from the statement of the NANS President and call on SU (Students’ Union) bodies throughout the South West campuses to maintain the mobilisation which is on the ground. June 12 day of action is sacrosanct and we shall never for any reason succumb to blackmail of any sort. Our agitation is strictly a call for the Federal Government to abide by the social contract willingly entered into with the Nigerian people.”
SaharaReporters had reported how the Muhammadu Buhari-led government planned to pay Asefon the sum of N40 million to mobilise thugs in major cities and disrupt the planned protest.
Asefon had in meeting with Nigeria’s Inspector of General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba on Tuesday promised to mobilise against those planning protest using his power as NANS President.
A source in the Presidency told SaharaReporters that the management of the Petroleum Product Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) has been ordered to pay the NANS leader N40 million to mobilise thugs in major cities across the country with police cover and unleash terror on genuine protesters on June 12.
“Asefon is to be paid by the Director of Extension of PPMC the sum of N40 million this evening. All arrangement about the fund has been concluded.
“The money was to compensate him for calling off his planned protest and also mobilise thugs in major cities with police cover to unleash terror on genuine protesters tomorrow.
“He will pick up the money in dollars this evening. He has been in Abuja for some weeks now,” a source had told SaharaReporters.