By Vincent Ujumadu, Awka
The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, threatened yesterday that it would shut down the country if insecurity persists, regretting that no fewer than 100 students have either lost their lives or abducted in recent times.
Addressing reporters in Awka, NANS senate president, Comrade Chuks Okafor said Nigerian students would no longer watch while their fellow students were being abducted in their institutions and nothing was being done to end the ugly situation.
Okafor said: “Nigeria, as we speak is at crossroads. The unbearable happenstances are the fact that there will be signals that an attack will happen, they will happen and nothing will happen.
“The leadership of Nigerian students has risen in unity to demands that our leaders and leadership of Nigeria, irrespective of political leanings, should come together and solve the rising insecurity in Nigerian universities.
“Recent attacks have taken place in Greenfield University, Kaduna State, where over 40 students were kidnapped and about five of them killed, National College of Forestry, Kaduna where over 29 students were kidnapped, and the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State, to mention but a few.
In the East, the ravaging issues of incessant killings of young students by suspected rival cult groups and herders conflict have also taken a new dimension with growing threats to peace and conducive learning environment we have enjoyed over the years.
“Few weeks ago, the Anambra State capital Awka, witnessed what could be simply referred as a “battleground” by suspected rival cult groups which claimed the lives of many leaders of tomorrow.
“Just recently, the students of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University took to their heels over an attack by hoodlums within the “off-campus” residence of the students:-
“It is regrettable that in the past few months, we have witnessed deadly attacks and kidnapping of students across higher institutions in Nigeria and at least, not fewer than over 100 students have been kidnapped by bandits with a good number of others still missing.
“This ugly development has disrupted academic learning in most of the institutions under attacks. Beyond the disruption of the academic curriculum, these raging attacks have far-reaching impacts on the psycho-social lives of the students.
“More critical is the fact that we are getting into another election year in Nigeria with an imminent one coming up in Anambra State on the 6th November 2021. With the growing threats of insecurity as of today, the Nigerian students are worried over the fact that most electoral polling units are located within campuses and we are further concerned over the safety of our students and the success of the elections in these polling units within the campuses.
“We, therefore, call on the government to commence immediate proactive and pragmatic actions in other to restore the confidence of the students in campuses and salvaging the deteriorating security situation in Nigeria.
“We believe that, if not checked at the moment, our country will suffer untold difficulties that will be posed by the leadership of the Nigerian students.
“As students, we know that the security of lives and welfare of the people is the primary responsibility of the government and as a result, we humbly appeal to our President, His Excellency, Muhamadu Buhari to step up and come to the rescue of the Nigerian students and the Nigerian society at large”.
“Our country is asymmetrically navigating into ‘stateless’ society where life was nasty, brutish, and short. We believe that if concerted efforts are taken now, Nigeria will come out of these challenges stronger and better.”