The National Association of Nigerian Students, Zone D (South West), has called on the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to stop demonising political opponents and persons with dissenting voices in the country.

The group, which described 2019 as the worst year for Nigeria’s democracy, said that in 2020 and the years ahead, the All Progressives Congress-led government must show more commitment to upholding the rule of law by respecting the views of all citizens.

In a statement jointly signed by Coordinator, NANS Zone D, Kowe Odunayo Amos, Secretary-General, Giwa Yisa Temitope, Public Relations Officer, Kazeem Olalekan Israel, the students’ body said that it would put up a new level of resistance against rising fascism and anti-poor policies by the government henceforth.

The statement reads, “It is high-time we spoke some truths to ourselves and critically look at where we are as a nation.

“After considering the leadership qualities of President Muhammadu Buhari, it is disheartening to note that the score sheet does not differ from that of his predecessors.

“Ever since the mantle of leadership fell on Buhari, he has proven to be the new squanderer and dasher of the hope of the people of Nigeria; rigging of elections has been at its peak, political persecution, media trial of perceived opponents, the demonisation of dissenters, the destruction of the economy and the humiliation of the people of Nigeria especially those in the Northern part of the country by Boko Haram.

“It is disgusting and embarrassing that the government of Nigeria that swore to defend and protect the lives and properties of the citizens has subjected the people especially those in the Northern part of the country to violence, butchery and subversion in the hands of Boko Haram.

“It would however, not be out of place to call 2019 the worst year in the history of Nigeria's democracy.

“Indeed, the journey to nationhood and democracy has been so tortuous especially during this change era. We have witnessed unprecedented mass murder and barbarity by well-armed Fulani vampires in the Northern part of the country without government taking action to bring these vampires to book. We have witnessed gross disobedience of court orders with the executive arm turning itself to arbiter of justice.

“In truth, the change has being from darkness to loom and bad to worst.

“We urge this government to fight terrorism, combat corruption to the minimum level, secure lives and properties of the people, fulfil campaign promises, provide jobs for the youth, secure the economy and deal with indecency in high-places while adhering strictly to the rule of law.

“The Nigerian people must also stop lionising the saboteurs of our national wealth that are living large at our own detriment.

“We must also be ready to take our leaders by their promises while demanding accountability.” 

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