June 17, 2024

NIGERIA Global News

Nigerian Students’ Protest Against School Fee Increase Is Legitimate and Unrelated to Politicians, According to a Lawyer, Temokun to DSS

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Tope Temokun, a constitutional lawyer in Nigeria, has criticised the Department of State Services (DSS), the country’s secret police, calling their remarks about a planned student demonstration against an unjustified tuition increase in higher schools deceptive.

 

The DSS said on Monday that it had discovered unknown individuals’ plans to stage violent rallies against the nation’s socioeconomic problems.

 

In a statement released by its spokesman, Peter Afunanya, the secret police claimed that intelligence reports suggested that the plotters included a number of politicians who were frantically rallying youths, disgruntled groups, ethnic-based associations, and student leaders for the intended action.

 

The legal luminary, Temokun, responded to the DSS claims and threats in a statement that was released on Tuesday and was titled: “Regime Of Fee Hikes Everywhere: SSS statement is made in bad faith as students have the right to protest.”

 

He claims that, “Students of the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State started their public outcry a few days ago when both the new and the returning students could not afford the new fees imposed on them which led to students’ protest and the eventual closure of that school.

 

“Today, the University of Lagos is engulfed in a crisis of students-university management confrontation for the same reason of increase in fees.”

 

Temokun stated that the DSS stated that it had uncovered plans by the youth to stage violent protests in order to discredit the federal government and security agencies over various socio-economic issues in response to waves of protest across the tertiary institutions.

 

“This allegation coming from the secret police appears a mere red-herring, a diversionary tactic and a post-dated justification of violent crackdown on the students’ protests by the law enforcement agents.

 

“The statement betrays itself as a strategy to give a coloration of political partisanship to genuine students’ protest against the unbearable and unaffordable cost of education resulting from the poor economic policy of the government, in order to mislead the public to believe their protest is not about the fees hike but other motives when we all know it’s the insensitive policy of increase in fees that is at the root of the restlessness in our campuses and nothing more, nothing less.

 

“No doubt, in their dubious calling, the politicians will always be out to pursue their selfish political agenda as usual by whatever means, but leave the students out of the politicians’ game and let them breathe, let the youths breathe, let the students react to the fees hike with their constitutional expression of peaceful protest.

 

“In case the SSS pretends not to know, increases in tuition fees in different epochs across generations have pushed the students into a confrontation with the university management, which has either been resolved at the barricade or at the roundtable. This time is not different, students would definitely resist.

 

 

“The release from the SSS linking the students’ protest with politicians is made in bad faith! Scrap the increment in fees today and see if there would be no peace on our campuses.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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