President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Mr Tijani Shehu, and no fewer than five other students, were on Thursday, arrested by policemen following a protest by the students at the Ministry of Education, Federal Secretariat, in Abuja.
The students had gathered at the entrance of the ministry, protesting the recent sack of vice-chancellors of 13 Federal Universities.
Recall that few day ago, President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the sack of the vice chancellors of the universities that were established by the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
The students, who argued that the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, erred in the appointment of new vice-chancellors, as that was the duty of universities governing councils, carried placards with inscriptions: “ASUU Break the Silence Against this Injustice’’, “Sack of VCs, an Attempt to Cripple our Citadels’’, “Say No to Injustice’’, among others.
The police arrested the students after they smashed the windscreen of a sports utility vehicle with registration number FG 23 A31, belonging the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs as it drove by.
They chanted angrily, threatening to force their way into the ministry, if Adamu did not come out and address them.
Before being whisked away by the police, Shehu, who spoke on behalf of the protesting students, noted that there was no clear statement as to what the offences of the VC’s were before the termination of their appointments.
He therefore requested that the federal government reverse its decision and reinstate the illegally sacked vice-chancellors immediately.
He said, “On February 12, 2016, the Federal Government, without due recourse to the governing councils of 12 Federal Universities and the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), removed their vice-chancellors without any clear statement as to what their offences might have been.
“What is the reason for the sacking of the four vice-chancellors of Federal Universities and that of NOUN before the expiration of their tenures?
“We request that the Federal Government, should in the interest of due process, reverse its decision and reinstate the illegally sacked vice-chancellors,’’ Shehu said.
The Public Relations Officer, FCT Police Command, when contacted for comments on the development said he had yet to be briefed on the issue.