The National Association of Nigerian Students has been advised by the Kaduna State Government not to block the Kaduna-Abuja Road as they had planned.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the state’s commissioner for internal security and home affairs, Samuel Aruwan, referred to the disgruntled students’ plans to block the Kaduna-Abuja Road as “inappropriate and a precursor to the breakdown of law and order.”
The Kaduna-Abuja Road and the roads leading to the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport in Abuja will reportedly be blocked by irate university students protesting the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ seven-month strike in order to have their demands heard.
Monday’s protesting students paralyzed the area around Murtala Muhammad International Airport in Lagos by blocking the access roads, forcing numerous flights to be rescheduled and leaving travelers stuck for more than eight hours.
Last week, the Ibadan-Ife Road and the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway were both closed by the protesting students.
However, the administration of Governor Nasir El-Rufai “seriously” advised students against blocking the Kaduna-Abuja Road, stating that doing so could “subject lives to unnecessary danger.”The government also said security agencies will ensure that no such action is implemented.
“By this notice, individuals or groups planning to restrict citizens’ movements are advised to desist in the interest of public peace. While the Kaduna State Government is not depriving citizens the right to express discontent, public security and safety must always be the foremost consideration.
“The danger of barricading a strategic route like the Kaduna-Abuja Road is better appreciated within the context of ongoing security operations covering the route, and other areas of interest.
“Keen attention must also be given to the possibility of certain gatherings degenerating into violence.
Therefore, participation in such processions is severely discouraged, especially if it would interfere with other residents’ everyday socioeconomic activities or put lives in needless danger.
“Citizens may kindly be reminded that collective security should remain the first and most important consideration at all times. Individuals, unions and other groups are therefore urged to note this advisory for strict compliance,” the statement partly read.
El-Rufai had warned Kaduna State University lecturers that if they didn’t resume their academic duties, he would declare their positions vacant.
Given the protracted standoff between the Federal Government and the lecturers on strike, NANS has threatened to halt operations at domestic and international airports as well as on important roadways around the nation.