…We didn’t deploy police against protesting students, says government
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has given the Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir El-Rufai 21 days ultimatum to pacify Nigerian students on the increase in school fees.
The Kaduna State Command of the Nigeria Police had also confirmed the death of one person during a protest that erupted in Kaduna State College of Education Gidan Waya in Kafanchan over the planned increment of school fees by the El-Rufai government.
But the state government has, however, washed its hands of the killing of the student, saying that it did not deploy security operatives to suppress protesting students.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Muhammad Jalige, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) who confirmed the killing of the student said in a statement that three protesters, were injured in the attempt to use minimal force to disperse the riotous students, one of whom later died in the hospital.
The PPRO said: “Today (yesterday) Monday, June 28, 2021, at 0800 hours, the Command was informed of the protest and road blockade by the students of College of Education Gidan Waya Kafanchan over the recent increase in tuition fee by the Kaduna State government.
“On receipt of the information, the Command immediately dispatched operatives to restore normalcy.
“However, at about 0930 hours, information had it that the students re-converged and blocked the Gidan Waya – Kafanchan Federal Highway and were becoming unruly and riotous. The situation resulted in a fracas where three protesters were injured in an attempt to use minimal force to disperse the riotous students.
“The victims were taken to the hospital for medical attention but unfortunately, one person died while receiving medical attention.
“The Commissioner of Police Kaduna Command CP UM Muri urged the students to embrace dialogue as it is the best alternative to express their grievances. He assured them of a diligent investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the fracas,” ASP Jalige said.
The Kaduna State government, in a statement through its Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said the government was still awaiting a report on the Gidan Waya protest, but was however quick to say that the state government did not deploy operatives to suppress the protest.
According to Aruwan “The Kaduna State government is awaiting full reports on Monday’s (yesterday’s) protest by students of the Kaduna State College of Education, Gidan Waya.
“In the preliminary report received so far, one student lost his life and some others were wounded, while three security personnel also sustained injuries.
“The Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir El-Rufai condoles with the family of the student that lost his life, and wished the students and operatives who sustained injuries speedy recovery.
“The government of Kaduna State also wishes to debunk reports that it deployed security operatives to suppress protesting students.
“At the time of this update, the Governor is awaiting reports from the military, police, DSS, the management of the institution, and the student union.
“The government will publicise its findings after receipt of the expected reports,” he said.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) had earlier given the Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir El-Rufai 21days window period to pacify Nigerian students on the increase in school fees ahead of its National Congress slated for July 19, 2021.
NANS National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon said all organs and sister bodies of NANS nationwide have been put on alert to relocate to Kaduna State to further ascertain the co-operation and adherence to its demands by the government of the state.
Asefon said the Governor “should be ready to kill as many of us as he can through thugs and security operatives and also build enough jail within the 21days that can accommodate thousands of Nigerian students.”
Addressing a press conference shortly after its meeting held at the main Campus of Kaduna Polytechnic, the President of the Association further rejected the attempt by the government of Kaduna State, the Kaduna State University, or any other tertiary institutions in the state to foist an undertaken on parents and guardians.
Addeding that “The National Congress meeting will hold in Kaduna on July 19, 2021. All organs and sister bodies of NANS nationwide are by this resolution put on alert to relocate to Kaduna State for this important National Congress to further ascertain the co-operation and adherence to our demands by the government of Kaduna State.
“That the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai should consider this window period of 21 days’ notice of National Congress as enough window to pacify Nigerian students or be ready to kill as many of us as he can through thugs and security agents and also build enough jail within the 21days that can accommodate thousands of Nigerian students.
“While we pray for the prosperity of Kaduna State, we will not be threatened or intimidated to close our eyes to these evil policies and the flagrant display of tyranny against our students and members as injury to one is an injury to all.”
Insisting that NANS rejects in totality the recent spate of 1,000 per cent increment of schools fees.