After taking stock of the recent protests against police brutality across Nigeria, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in the South-west has called for an improvement in governance in the country.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Kazeem Israel, on Wednesday, the students group said the government should not see the protest as a demand for the end of police brutality alone but as a general demand for improved welfare of Nigerians.
“For us, we see this as a wake up call beyond police reform but for an overhaul in governance in the nation,” the statement said.
The students urged President Muhammadu Buhari to end the hardship Nigerian are going through across the country.
“Before now, it is on record that the Buhari-led administration has been deriving pleasure in launching a series of economic attacks on the downtrodden.
More recently is the increase in the price of PMS, increase in electricity tariff which amongst other factors led to skyrocketing increase in the prices of commodities even when it has become so glaring that the Nigerian masses are still suffering from the hardship imposed on them by the effects of Coronavirus pandemic.
“Expected that a serious government at this critical period would have mapped out a more concrete economic reform to cushion the effect of Covid-19, this regime has not displayed any sense of responsibility and interest for the well-being of the citizens it claims to represent despite the fact that it is clearly stated in Section 14 sub-section 2(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) that ‘the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government’.”
The students also berated Mr Buhari for ignoring the Lekki incident in his first speech on Thursday.
“As an association, we are baffled that the President views the address of the ‘massacre’ of innocent souls as being worthless with no mention of it in his address to the Nation.
“As a students’ body, it is noteworthy to address a part of the speech of Mr President as regards the state of education. The President said ‘in order to underscore the importance of education in preparing youths for the future, this administration has come with a new salary structure and other incentives for our teachers’.
This statement is nothing but an embarrassment. It would be recalled that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been on strike for the past seven months over the failure of the Federal Government to accede to the demands of the body.