The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) says it would not participate in the #EndSARS protest because it lacks leadership structure.
According to NAN, Sunday Asefon, the newly-elected president of the association, spoke at a news conference on the #EndSARS protests and the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in Abuja on Monday.
Youth protesting against brutality and excesses of operatives of the now-disbanded special anti-robbery squad (SARS) had stormed the streets for two weeks in October to demand comprehensive reform of the police.
The protest, which was earlier halted after hoodlums hijacked it, has started to gain momentum with some #EndSARS activists said to have staged a fresh demonstration in Osogbo, Osun state on Monday.
But commenting on the movement, Asefon said while the students’ body condemned the police brutality of youths, the association would not be part of any protest that does not have leadership.
He enjoined the youth to select five people from each of the 36 states and the federal capital territory (FCT) and meet to present their proposals to the federal government on their grievances relating to police brutality.
“Nigerian students have been victims of police brutality, and we condemn their act. At the same time, we the students body cannot be part of any protest that do not have leadership structure,” he said.
“The protest will not solve the issue of EndSARS, the Inspector-General of Police has cancelled SARS. I think those protesting should come together and present their common proposals on the issue, through the right channel.”
On the ongoing ASUU strike, Asefon said the association would liaise with the federal government and ASUU for amicable resolution of the over eight-month impasse between the two parties to enable students to return to school.
“I will immediately set out to engage stakeholders within the education sector to add our strong voices against the over stayed ASUU strike,” he said.
“I will be consulting with the representatives of the Federal Government and ASUU with the aim of prevailing on them to find a centre point for amicable resolution to ensure we return to school.”
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