26 February 2013

Nigeria: Nans Seeks Removal of Army Chief Over Killing of Four Nassarawa Students

The National Association of the Nigerian Students, NANS, has called for the dismissal of the commandant in charge of the Army Barracks in Keffi, Nassarawa state.

The student body said the commandant deserved to be fired for allegedly giving orders for the shooting and killing of four students of the Nassarawa State University on Monday.

"The commandant in charge of the soldiers should be dismissed immediately, he lacks professionalism in his call to duty," Ahmed Jubril, the National Vice President, National Affairs of NANS, said in a statement.

On Monday, students of the Nassarawa State University staged a protest against the non-provision of social amenities in the institution. In a manner that has become the norm in quelling protests in Nigeria, armed soldiers were deployed to disperse the protesters. Four of the students were shot dead, allegedly by the soldiers, at the protest scene.

The Nigerian police confirmed the killings but denied that its officers were responsible for the shootings.

The institution was subsequently closed by authorities.

Nigerians, civil society, and human rights groups have vociferously condemned the clamp down on the students.

They described the attack as a flagrant abuse of their fundamental rights including their right to movement and association especially since the protest was peaceful.

Besides the four students that were killed, many other students sustained injuries and are currently hospitalised.

Among the injured students is the President of the Student Union Government, SUG, of the Nassarawa State University.

As at the time of this report, the SUG president was still in comma.

The NANS has scheduled an official visit to the institution on Tuesday, to ascertain the degree of injuries inflicted on its members and the level of damage caused by the soldiers.

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