Students plan Independence Day protest

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“We don’t know what they are teaching us in school,” the student leader said.

The South West zone of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has said it will embark on a march on October 1 to protest against the policies of the Federal Government.

Assistant Secretary General of the group, Samuel Awowole, said on Monday, that unsuitable learning environment, hikes in tuition fees, and the planned introduction of N5,000 notes are among the reasons for their protest.

“Now as I’m talking to you, our campuses in the South West and beyond are nothing to write home about,” said Mr. Awowole, a student of the Osun State College of Education.

The student leader complained about the high fees being paid at the Lagos State University, and the poor standard of education in most Nigerian schools.

“Sanusi and the federal government are still introducing the N5,000 note. What does that have to do with the problems affecting us?” he said.

While describing government policies as “imperialist”, the students said their welfare has been relegated to the background.

“Today, many universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education are not having student unions, so there is no internal democracy,” said Mr. Awowole.

“Government policies are affecting and killing us. That is why today, when they want to interview us, they’ll say we are not employable. It is not our fault,” Mr. Awowole added.

On Nigeria’s 52nd Independence Day anniversary, the protesters would converge at the Nigeria Labour Congress secretariat, Yaba – the usual take off point for almost all protests held in Lagos – and march to a yet to be determined location.

“As Nigerian students, we are confused because we don’t know what they are teaching us in school, it is not okay by us,” Mr. Awowole said.

“On October 1st, our own Independence Day is going to be on the streets and no going back on that,” he added.