The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has condemned the arrest of protesting students in Lokoja, Kogi State and demanded for their immediate release.
A statement by NANS’ President, Mr Chinonso Obasi, on Monday in Abuja, said that Kogi students and Nigerian students in general should not be made to bear the brunt of industrial disputes in schools.
Obasi said that the Kogi State Government had not reopened all its tertiary institutions which were ordered closed six months ago due to agitation for unpaid salaries and arrears owed staff.
He said that the arrested students were peacefully protesting the continued closure of the schools.
“The refusal of the Kogi State Governor to accede to the demands of the academic staff union and all other affiliated unions is one of the strange expressions of how deeply the Kogi State government resents education and staff welfare.
“Our parents are unbearably overstretched by this sheer insensitivity of the state government.
“To add salt to injury, the state government instead of pacifying the students chose to arrest them during protest.
“This amounts to a flagrant attack on our members for lawfully demanding the reopening of their campuses,’’ he said.
Obasi said NANS was pained that the students were subjected to massive humiliation by combined security forces.
The NANS president said students wanted unconditional release of those arrested by the police.
He said that the students would continue to protest until all tertiary institutions under lock and keys in the state were reopened for academic activities.