27 February 2013

Nigeria: NANS Leads Protest to Govt House Over Keffi Killing

Lafia — The leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has just completed a protest march they led to Nasarawa State Government House in Lafia, where they demanded to know who authorized the deployment of a troop of soldiers to the Nasarawa State Unversity, Keffi (NSUK) students' protest over lack of water, last Monday.

Soldiers arrived at about 10am to the scene of the protest at High Court area of Keffi along Keffi-Akwanga Road, in two batches of three vans, and two later. No sooner had they arrived than shots of fire arms were heard. Two students were killed on that day, allegedly from bullets from armed soldiers and policemen, and several others were said to have been injured from gunshots.

The students were protesting because they said they were starved of water for two weeks.

By about 1pm of, the leadership of NANS, led by the Vice President, Comrade Ahmed Jibril of ABU, Zaria, poured into Government House. He was accompanied by other officials of the students" union body including NANS Secretary General (Zone C), Comrade Daniel Lawee Sunday, the NANS President's aide on Media and Publicity, Comrade Danielson Monday, and NANS Stakeholders' Forum chairman, Comrade Abba Abba, as well as the Nasarawa Students Union Government (SUG) leader, Rabiu Omame Tijani.

The students, who chanted anti-government slogans, were received by the state deputy governor, Dameshi Barau Luka, who took several minutes to persuade the students to sit before they could present their demands.

After several minutes, the NANS Vice President, directed his members to take seats, and began by expressing displeasure with the killing of the day.

He asked: "Who ordered the deployment of soldiers to the scene of the peaceful protest; President G.E.J or Emperor Tanko Al-Makura, were the students on a war/insurgent mission to warrant soldiers' presence, where was the Vice Chancellor (Professor Shamsudeen Amali) during the attack, what role did Emperor Al-Makura play in restoring normalcy before and during the attack on students?"

The student union leader also demanded that students detained by the police, be immediately released, just as he added "those students whose monies were collected in the name of bail should be refunded." Female union leaders among the protesters broke into teasr at various points, disrupting the procession.

But the deputy governor, who sought understanding with the students said they must have been acting on misinformation, as he denied that the governor is no emperor, and did not direct the deployment of soldiers to the scene of the protest.

He conceded to much of the demands made by the students, and also said the state government was already discussing with the university management to reopen the school in due course.

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