The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has vowed to go on with their planned massive protest from Wednesday, September 6, against the recent increment in school fees by some federal universities in the country, insisting that the increment will never come to stay.
The students’ body asked the institutions which had already started implementing their own increment to be ready for them or stop the policy forthwith and refund any student who might have paid the new fees.
The students in a statement made available to Nigerian Tribune on Monday by their National Public Relations Officer, who is a final year student of UNILAG, Mr Temitope Giwa, said nothing would stop them from protesting as planned.
They insisted that the entire Nigerian students reject any fee hike by any public tertiary school be it university or polytechnic in the country.
They explained again that they had made this position with genuine reasons known repeatedly not only to the public but also to President Bola Tinubu by officially communicating their objection to the fee hike to him.
According to them, “We have let the president Know that our parents are going through very difficult times, the experience of which they have never had in Nigeria’s history.
“That the recent removal of subsidy on fuel in particular has brought untold hardship on them and also on us. Our parents have suffered enough hardship and to add fee hike to their struggles is to suffocate them.
“So, we have not shifted our ground on this matter as the economy rather bites harder each day in the land.“
The students, however, cautioned the government’s security agencies particularly the Department of State Security (DSS) and the Nigerian Police Force not to attempt to disrupt their protest as they have the fundamental right to exercise such action peacefully.
They explained that their attention had been drawn to a statement credited to DSS alleging them of being mobilised by some politicians for the protest.
They argued that apart from the fact that they have the constitutional rights just like every other Nigerian and group to stage peaceful protests against anti-people policies and programmes, particularly of government, the students wondered why security agents, especially DSS would turn to be the propaganda arm of the Federal Government by allegedly raising false alarms that some politicians are mobilising them for the protest.
They said such claim is embarrassing to them and so also the claim by the Lagos State Police Command that they must have to get permission from them to go on protest.
The students’ body disclosed that they would start the protest at UNILAG being only the university according to them that has refused to reverse the fee increment to the old order.
They explained that the action of the university is contrary to the agreement reached with NANS leadership at a meeting on Wednesday, August 2nd, where the management “agreed to crash the new fee structure and refund students that might have paid the money.
“It is surprising that UNILAG still go ahead to implement the new fees regime and we won’t accept that, hence our collective decision to fix September 6 as a date of action for protest and we shall continue this till the management reverses the obnoxious hike.”
The students added that they would equally ground activities in any other public university across the country with similar fee increments as they are preparing to go back to their campuses for the 20232024 academic session.
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