Students plan to re-enact Occupy Nigeria protests

Temitope Mustapha, Abuja

A scene from the 2012 subsidy removal protests

The Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, says that next week, it will re-enact the Occupy Nigeria protest against the removal of subsidy from petroleum products.

The Occupy Nigeria protests were held in 2012 when the government at the time, increased the fuel price.

The National President of NANs, Comrade Tijani Shehu, stated this in Abuja, at a protest rally where the association also called for the removal of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu.

According to him, “a directive has been issued to all tertiary institutions to shut down all campuses on Tuesday and Wednesday, next week.  After that, they will all converge on Abuja for a mass protest.

On behalf of NANS and the whole 40.1 million Nigeria students, we condemn the new fuel price and by Tuesday or Wednesday, the whole Nigerian students would occupy Nigeria. So the Federal Government should look into this before NANS mobilize the entire Nigeria students to occupy Nigeria.”

The students, who came in their hundreds arrived at the headquarters of Ministry of Education, blocked the ministry entrance, and carried different placards asking the Minister of Education, to either resign or President Muhammadu Buhari should remove him.

They accused the Minister of tactically rapidly eroding standards Nigeria’s educational institution.

“Mallam Adamu’s impunity began rising to its never ending crest with his arbitary pronouncement of the sack of Vice Chancellors of 13 federal universities without any further recourse to the universities rulers or any extant law to the said effect.

The simplest explanation the Minister had before the National Assembly was that those who worked politically for the government needed compensation.

The wrong precedence the Minister of Education – Malam Adamu Adamu seeks to entrench has already began to exert a negative toll on our educational institutions as seen in the numerous upheavals taking place on our campuses without the due attention of the Minister”, he said.

The Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission, NUC, Professor Julius Okojie, addressed the students and appealed to them to go home that he would ensure  the Minister of Education gets their letter of protest.

“There are many ways of getting things done. He cannot run away but I want to assure you that I would personally fix an appointment with the Minister of Education to meet with you. The minister won’t run away from you. Someday you would be minister, let us do this, let us have respect for the system”, he said.

On new fuel pump price, he said, “it is a bigger issues and I am sure Federal Government would explain its role on the reason for the new pump price. Federal Government must have its reasons for taking a particular stand”,  Okojie said.