NANS Warns FG Over Hate Speech, Social Media Bills

 

The national leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has cautioned the Federal Government over the proposed Social Media Bill and the Hate Speech Bill and called on Nigerians to raise their voices against the two bills.

At a press conference held at the Iweirohin House of the Nigeria Union of journalists in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, the National Public Relations Officer of the Association, Azeez Adeyemi, described the bills as anti-human which if allowed to stand could undermine the rights of Nigerians.

“Our attention has been drawn to an attempt by the federal government of Nigeria in connivance with a senator representing Niger-East, Senator Muhammad Sani Musa to silence the Nigeria populace especially the youth of which the students constitute it largest percentage through a social media bill,” he said.

“The bill had last week passed the second reading at the floor of the red chamber, which means it is on its way to becoming a law”.

“Part 3 (12) of the bill gives law enforcement agencies the power to shut down access to the internet and social media without recourse to the National Assembly or a court.”

“There is no doubt that the Nigerian government is all out to clamp down on critics of their anti-human policies and acts. However, any government going this way is gradually moving toward anarchy, a point Nigerian students will resist with every strength we have.”

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“In a related development, through Sen. Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Deputy Chief Whip), the Nigerian government is also backing a Hate Speech Bill, otherwise called the ‘Prohibition of Hate Speech Bill’.”

He believes that the bills could infringe on the fundamental rights of Nigerians.

“These bills are tactical moves to shut the ordinary man, youths and the journalist to pave way for their impunity.”

“If this bill is allowed to thrive, the government will be vested with the sole power to determine what a hate speech is, and as a result witch shunt opponents and even journalists.”

“On this note, Nigerian students stand firm against the social media bill in totality and every other thing it might stand for.”

“We have students in other countries of the world but they will never be caged the way the Nigerian government is trying to muscle us as if they want the world to end in this century.”

“Even when the social media bill is yet to be passed into law, lawmakers are beginning to witch shunt our students who talk about their anti-masses behaviours on social media.”

“It should be noted that only a students/elite could identify most of these wicked act of politicians as some of them pose to be good intentions even when they meant the opposite.”

An injury to one is an injury to others

“As we speak, one of our students, a second-year student in the Department of Science and Technology Education, Bayero University,
Yahuza Tijjani is currently in prison custody for speaking his mind on his Facebook wall allegedly against a member of the state assembly. ”

“He was picked since September 30, 2019, after posting the following on his Facebook wall “You know he’s not well educated, as a result of which he doesn’t know how to calculate figures. He said 1230, he later said 1500 and at the ended saying 2000.”

“In another post, Tijjani also wrote, “I pray to God almighty that the election petition tribunal [will] declare the election of state’s assembly member representing Madobi as inconclusive”.

“For posting the above, the lawmaker through the police got Tijani arrested, make him spend seven days at the state criminal investigation department, Police ‘Zone 1’ regional headquarters in Kano state before he was sent to jail by the magistrate.”

“However, the lawmaker, Kabiru Is’mail, and Tijjanis are natives of Madobi Local Government Area.”

“Clearly, this is a complete case of inhumanity to man and such a power-drunk attitude will not be allowed against any of our students in the country. ”

“To this end, we appeal to the said Hon. Kabiru Is’mail to as a matter of urgency release Tijjanis within the next 72 hours or joined the list of enemies of our students as we are ready to fight any oppressor to stand still on this issue.”

“We, however, enjoin our students in Kano state to remain calm and not take laws into their own hands as we shall confront when the time for that comes.”

“The National President of NANS, Com. Danielson Akpan has, however, directed that state Chairmen of NANS with indigenous students associations should stage a peaceful protest to their different state assemblies after which there will be a national students protest to the National Assembly against this anti masses bill,” he concluded.

Currently, There Are No Xenophobic Attacks – NANS, South Africa

 

The National Association of Nigerian Students in South Africa has dissociated itself from the seven-day ultimatum issued by its mother body, for South African businesses to leave Nigeria and for Nigerians in South Africa to consider returning home.

President of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Daniel Akpan, had given the ultimatum last week, following incessant attacks on Nigerians.

But the outgoing President of NANS in South Africa, Mr Ozoemena Nwamadi, in an interview with Channels TV said the head of the association in Nigeria did not inform or consult with them in South Africa before the decision was taken.

“NANS in Nigeria was supposed to contact us to get first-hand information on the situation of Nigerians in South Africa and their feelings on the ongoing situation,” he explained.

Ozoemena Nwamadi

Read Also: There’s No Targeting Of Any Group Of Africans In South Africa – S.A. Foreign Minister

Nwamadi further stated that while there have been xenophobic attacks in the past, there are no current attacks on foreign nationals or Nigerians that warrants picketing.

“In the past, we have experienced xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals and Nigerians.

“It’s not only on Nigerians but currently, there are no xenophobic attacks and I don’t think that there is anything that would warrant the picketing of South African businesses and countries at the moment”.

This comes a day after South Africa’s Minister for International Relations and Cooperation, Dr. Naledi Pandor, said the reports of targeted killings of Nigerians in their country were false.

‘No Targeting of Africans’

She also described the ultimatum as well as protests by the group (NANS) as unfortunate adding that they don’t reflect the strong relations that exist between the people and the government of South Africa and Nigeria.

She, however, insisted that everything is being done to protect and improve the long-standing relationship both countries have.

TUC Gives Oyo Govt. 15-Day Ultimatum To Pay Workers

Oyo-Students-Traders-Protest
FILE: Students and traders protesting in Oyo State.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has issued a 15-day ultimatum to the Oyo State Government and all governors owing workers to pay up or face mass action in affected states.

Members of TUC at the national level joined their counterparts from Oyo state to protest the non-payment of their salaries for over 6 months.

They called on the Governor of the state, Mr Abiola Ajimobi to urgently find a solution to the lingering crisis.

The Head of Service, Mr Soji Eniade, while addressing the protesters, appealed for calm and assured that the committee to be inaugurated between labour and government will come up with a lasting solution to the problem.

Meanwhile, all public primary and secondary schools in Oyo State remain closed despite the order to re-open the schools by the governor.

In an interview with Channels Television, TUC Chairman, Oyo State chapter, Comrade Niyi Akano, maintained that teachers are not resuming until their demands are met.

A visit round schools by Channels Television Correspondent on Monday, revealed that no school was functional despite the order and labour insists it will remain so until issues at stake are resolved.

In the meantime, the Oyo State Government insists that the proposed participatory management of public schools will happen and to be sure of government’s seriousness, a 31 member Education Reform Initiative Committee has been set up to widen the scope of consultations on the project.

Members of the committee were drawn from the University of Ibadan, commissioners from relevant ministries, community and religious leaders, and private sector education practitioners while the NUT, NLC, Ancopps and NANs are expected to submit 2 representatives each for the committee.

Nigerian Students Protest Against Sack Of 13 VCs

Nigerian Students, NANSThe National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) is calling for the reinstatement of the 13 Vice Chancellors sacked by the federal government this year.

The protesting students who stormed the office of the Minister of Education in Abuja said that the sack was politically motivated and unjust.

The students, who were led by their National President, Tijani Usman, are calling for the resignation of the Minister.

Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the National University Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okojie, who addressed the protesting students, appealed to them to articulate their demands as he would facilitate a meeting with the Minister.

NANS Urges Federal Government To Increase Polytechnic Education Funding

NANSThe leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has urged the Federal Government to increase funding of polytechnic education through the TETFUND special intervention.

The group made the call on Sunday in Owerri, the capital of  Imo State in south-east Nigeria while on a facility tour on Federal Government projects to the Federal Polytechnic Nekede in Owerri.

The National President of NANS, Comrade Tijani Usman, said that the association remained committed to supporting President Buhari-led Federal Government in fighting corruption, especially in the education sector.

Mr Usman said that polytechnic education was one of the key to sustainable growth and technological development of Nigeria.

The President reiterated that would not be business as usual for School Authorities who embezzle funds meant for school development by erecting kangaroo projects that do not have impact on the students.

While commending NANS for the visit, the management of the Federal Polytechnic Nekede, thanked the Federal Government for the special intervention fund which they said had gone a long way to help the school’s growth.

They, however, appealed to the government for more funding, as students from polytechnics were contributing immensely to the technological growth of country.

Truck Accidents: NANS Protests Against Deaths of Students

NANSStudents of the various tertiary educational institutions in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Friday, trooped out on the Akure-Ilesha Federal Highway, barricading the road to protest against incessant accidents caused by tankers, lorries and other articulated vehicles which have led to the death of many of their colleagues.

As early as 9 o’clock in the morning, the students, carrying placards with various inscriptions and singing solidarity songs, stormed the road to show their grievances.

Some of their leaders who spoke to Channels Television lamented that hundreds of students have died in recent times in accidents caused by these long vehicles.

They pleaded with the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, restrict the operations of these vehicles to the nights in order to minimize the loss of lives.

Nigerian Students Protest Against Xenophobic Attacks

Nigerian Students The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in Abuja have staged a protest to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to agitate for government’s prompt response to incessant attacks and killings of citizens schooling abroad, particularly the xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa.



The students also threatened to embark on reprisal attacks on foreign nationals, including South Africans and their businesses in Nigeria, if government from both countries do not call those responsible for the killings in those countries to order.

The Under Secretary, African Affairs at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Godwin Agama, assured the aggrieved students of the government’s prompt response to the situation, urging them not to take laws into their hands.

There have been reports of renewed xenophobic attacks in South Africa’s Kwazulu Natal province.

The Nigerian House of Representatives has also condemned the attack on Nigerians and other Africans in South Africa.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Diapora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa has said that Nigeria must put its feet down and be very decisive in acting against the killing of Nigerians abroad.

Meanwhile, the South African High Commissioner in Nigeria, Lulu Mnguni, said that the crisis had been triggered by the level of poverty in the area and the drive by locals to have complete access to the resources alone.

Students Honour Fashola With Certificate Of Commendation

FasholaIn appreciation of his contributions to the improvement of education in the country, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in the South West Zone, on Monday, honoured the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, with a Certificate of Commendation.

Governor Fashola, who recently announced a reversal of the school fees in the Lagos State University (LASU) to its old structure, got the students’ applause for giving them a listening ear and allowing them the chance to contribute their quota to the growth of education by getting proposals from them, while they engaged the government during the recent students crisis.

The students, represented by their “Senators” from all the higher institutions in the South West Zone, said that the Governor struck them as the right leader to turn the country around through the creative way he recognized the import of their arguments that education could be run in a way as to encourage both the children of the rich and the poor to fulfill their gifts for education, without creating classes and division among them.

Governor Fashola received the recognition award at the Lagos House, Ikeja, and charged them to always reflect on how the quality of education can be improved. While making a commitment that the State Government would solve the problem of the issue of quality of education, he stated that the students also have a role to play in proffering solutions.

“I am also inquiring from you that how can we improve the quality of education? So that we can begin to plan how to produce our next sets of graduates that would produce our cars, give us electricity, perform heart and kidney surgeries here. It may look so far away but we are so closer to getting out and you are so close to taking over. We need to quickly fill that gap”, he stated.

On the Lagos State University (LASU) issue, Governor Fashola said, ”It was the students who asked for intervention in their school. All actions have consequences. When you sought the setting up of visitation panels, you don’t know what the result would be. What you did not realize is that you were asking outsiders to come. I hope the right lessons have been learnt. For us it is about making things better. You must ask yourself, is your method working? If they are not working, are you reflecting on changes?” he said.

Fashola expressed gladness that the school fees issue ended in the way it did, which exceeded the expectation of the students, adding that it was important to remind everyone of how it all started and that the State Government did not just wake up and decided to increase fees in LASU.

He said, “Part of the recommendation also was that there should be massive investment in infrastructure funding and part of it was that we should also increase school fees. It was not our initiative It was the consequence of the choice that you made.”

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Zone D Coordinator, Mr Sunday Ashefon, commended the Governor for surprising the students with his decision on the LASU fees because what the students were clamoring for was a reduction. He said, ”The fees payable in LASU now is not obtainable in any tertiary institution in Nigeria today.” He described Governor Fashola as another Awolowo of his generation.

 

Polytechnic And University Graduates Should Be On Par — Student Leaders

ASUP COEASUThe Student Union Government Presidents of two Lagos based polytechnics, YABATECH and LASPOTECH, Babajide Salvado and Abdulkareem Yusuf, have explained why the students are in support of the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP).

The student leaders were guests on Channels Television youth programme, Rubbin’ Minds, where they explained that majority of the points for which their lecturers are agitating affect the students directly.

Mr Salvado of Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) decried the imbalance in the manner in which the Nigerian Government and the media gave more attention to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) during their 5-month strike in 2013, failing to give same to the Polytechnic lecturers since their struggles started in January 2014.

He also laid emphasis on the bureaucratic bottlenecks that had bedevilled the growth and development of polytechnic education for many years.

He noted that the students belief that the Polytechnic lecturers’ demands were genuine. Although he admitted that emphasis had been laid on the lecturers’ monetary demands as it concerns the payment of their arrears.

The dichotomy between the Polytechnics and the universities also came to the fore as the students insisted that there should be no reason for graduates from polytechnics and colleges of education to be treated as inferior to their counterparts from the universities.

There had been arguments in many quarters that the entry requirements of students into the universities have always been higher than what obtains in the other institutions with lower cut-off marks and as such their products could not be at par.

The student leaders unanimously condemned the view. Yusuf claimed that many Polytechnic students scored as high as the university cut-off marks and still were not offered admission into a university due to factors beyond them. Citing his school, the Lagos State Polytechnic as example, he noted that Nigerian polytechnics can boast of many intelligent products who would comfortably compete with university graduates.

Salvado also added that the students were ready to have the cut-off mark for all tertiary institutions set at parity if the discrepancies would be the basis for considering polytechnics as inferior to universities, as he was also sure that they had the technical edge in their competencies.

The Student Union Government President of the Federal College of Education, Akoka, Olusola Ogunnowo, whose lecturers under the aegis of Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, COEASU, have also been part of the industrial action, added that the reforms in the education sector have shown that being a teacher would no more be seen as an alternative career.

He revealed that many of his colleagues were in school not as a way out of having failed to make it into other institutions but as a form of fulfilment of their dreams to be teachers. He added that there were graduates of universities who were back in their schools in order to get certification for their dream to become lecturers, a process he claimed showed the seriousness and importance of the Colleges of Education.

The over 6 months old strike had been experiencing challenges with some schools in different parts of the country pulling out; a development that the student leaders condemned. They claimed that the disunity among the ASUP and COEASU was a product of selfishness and pursuit of personal interests.

Salvado also had tough words for the national leadership of the National Association Nigerian Students (NANS) for having failed to make a statement in solidarity with the plight of the students and their lecturers in the polytechnics and colleges of education.

He noted that the President of the NANS had been at the National Conference supposedly to represent the youth and there has been no mention of how to develop Nigerian education since the conference started.

They called on the Nigerian Government to change its attitude towards education, especially the polytechnics and colleges of education.

‘Quit Playing Politics And Go Back To Class’, Maku Tells ASUU

The Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku has charged striking lecturers of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to quit playing politics and go back to the classroom.

Speaking at the monthly press conference on government activities and programmes, Maku said the strike action has lasted too long and is now pulling down the education sector which the lecturers are claiming to want to save from collapse.

He challenged ASUU to re-open the schools if they are truly interested in the development of the sector saying government has done their best and cannot ground other sectors of the economy and face education alone.

The lingering ASUU strike which is inching close to its fourth month now has rendered Nigerian university students idle, and with no obvious end to the strike, as neither FG nor ASUU is ready to shift grounds, thereby crippling the education sector of the country.

Students Appeal To ASUU To Call Off Strike

Students of Kaduna state university have called on the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to have a rethink on its current industrial action to protest government’s refusal to implement the 2009 agreement it reached with the union and suspend the strike.

The students who spoke to Channels Television in Kaduna said the strike would affect the already disrupted academic calendar and therefore called on the union to consider university students in the country who they noted are no parties in their dispute with the federal government.

Kaduna state university ASUU branch chairman, Dr. Sadiq Abdu said although there were skeletal academic activities in the school on Tuesday, the lecturers would commence full industrial action starting from Wednesday. He said the university lecturers across the country resumed strike because of government’s insincerity.

But the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Kaduna zone, said they are in total support of the industrial action by ASUU because government has failed to provide the basic infrastructure in the universities in the country which is one of the demands of the union.

Auto Crash Kills Student Unionists Travelling To Troubled University of Uyo

A ghastly motor accident involving a trailer and bus conveying executives of the National Association Of Nigerian Students (NANS) has left five persons dead, six injured.

The tragedy occurred Thursday morning along Ariam-Ikwuano local government area, shortly after the NANS executives made a brief stop at Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture situated just a few kilometres before Ariam.

It was gathered that the occupants of the ill-fated bus crash were 12 executives of NANS travelling to University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom state on a fact finding mission into the crisis rocking the institution which has led to death of some students and burning of some of the institution’s buildings.

The driver of the bus, NANS Senate President, Donald Onukaogu, and a student of Federal University Technology Owerri (FUTO), died on the spot with four others, while other five are critically injured.

The 11th person sustained a minor injury and the 12th person was lucky to escape unhurt.

On getting the news, the Governor of Abia state, Theodore Orji, visited the hospital where he met members of NANS.

He expressed his condolence to the student’s body and the family, while assuring them of every necessary assistance.

He cautioned drivers to limit their speed while driving on the highway.

The coordinator, Zone B of NANS, Chinonso Obasi, thanked the Governor for coming the hospital to sympathise with them.