The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) says the unconditional release of 13 University of Lagos students from detention at Kirikiri maximum prison prevented major unrest.
In a statement released on Thursday by Chinonso Obasi, factional NANS president, the association expressed joy at the release of the students.
NANS had on Monday given the authorities 24 hours to release the students, failure of which would lead to an invasion of the prison.
The students, who were detained for unlawful invasion of a media house, were released on Thursday morning.
“Our joy stems mainly from the fact that the gesture from the special court averted what would have undoubtedly sparked off a major student unrest in the country because we were greatly pained that such a harsh punishment would be handed to long-suffering students at a time of immense socio-economic challenges.
“We saw the backdoor incarceration of the 13 students, whether rusticated or not, as an affront against Nigerian students.
While commending the judge who presided over the case, NANS urged security operatives to treat university students with care and caution.
“Attempts to deny students their right of free speech or treat their peaceful protest against high handed policies usually lead to needless violence and destruction of property, which in the end takes heavy tolls on the economy with students bearing greater brunt.
“We use this opportunity to also call on the federal government to take issues of student welfare serious, including infrastructural decay, poor social amenities in various campuses, while we call on the president to beam the anti-corruption searchlight on the nation’s tertiary institutions.”
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