The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has disclosed its plans to ground activities in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in protest of alleged discrimination against law graduates of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
In a petition signed by Taiwo Bamigbade, NANS National Vice President (External Affairs), and addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, the association threatened to embark protest, to demand that NOUN Law graduates are given admission into law schools like their counterparts in other universities across the country.
A copy of the petition, dated August 20, 2018, was sent to the Senate President; Speaker, House of Representatives; Minister of Education; Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission; Secretary; Council of Legal Education and the Vice Chancellor of NOUN.
NANS said it would commence "mass actions with Phase-1 in the Federal Capital Territory from 27th - 31st August," while the second phase would take place on October 1, 2018, nationwide.
In the petition, titled ‘Notice of Mass Actions in FCT Environs from 27-31 August’, the association condemned the exclusion, describing it as “discrimination”.
It read in part: “As stated previously, it amounts to fraud, discrimination and mischief against the Nigerian students, and inhumanity to vulnerable citizens, especially the youths to formally admit, graduate and issue them deficient certificates after several years of study, despite financial implications.
“It is disgraceful to restate that their ordeals began in 2012, as a result of the national moot-court competition for all Law faculties in Nigerian universities, which NOUN outstandingly emerged as the star-winner in its first participation, and resultantly represented the country in India international competition. Since then, they were grudgingly excluded from subsequent competitions and arbitrarily refused admission into the Law School.
“Undeniably, the hostility leaves much to be desired in the academia, rather than sportsmanship as obtained in other competitions. Since 2013 [when] the first set graduated, they have been unjustifiably kept idle, and forced to [roam] the streets, for doing nothing wrong but their diligence and hardworking. Despite our petition, the gimmicks subsist.”
NANS insisted that NOUN adhered strictly to the NUC's curriculum issued to other universities, and wondered why its graduates are excluded from proceeding to Law School.