Arms Smuggling : Ogun Students Shelve Planned Protest Over Threat To Life - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Arms Smuggling : Ogun Students Shelve Planned Protest Over Threat To Life

          •Image from 'Ali must go' protest


Ayobami Ife,  Abeokuta


Students in Ogun state have suddenly shelved their planned protest against the officials of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) over alleged smuggling of firearms into the country through the state land borders, citing threats to life as reason for the cancellation.

The students, under the aegis of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), National Association of University Students (NAUS) and the National Association of Ogun State Students (NAOSS), had last week threatened to shutdown the headquarters of the NCS, Ogun state command 1 in Idi-Iroko area of the state in protest against the alleged "inability and unwillingness" of operatives of the command to stem the tide of smuggling activities.

But, the students quickly put the planned protest on hold following security report from the Department of State Security (DSS) that hoodlums, suspected to be serving the cause of smugglers had perfected  plans to hijack the protest and unleash civil unrest in Idiroko area and other border communities.

In a statement, jointly signed by the Chairman of NANS, Damilola Simeon, National President of NAOSS, Gbemileke Ogunrombi and the National Vice President of NAUS, Adebowale Abdul-ghaffar in Abeokuta on Tuesday said the planned protest had been postponed. 

The leadership of the students bodies also alleged threat to their lives by suspected smugglers and "their sympathisers".

The students alleged that, some people believed to be Yoruba nation agitators were planning to hijack the protest and unleash terror on members of the public.

"We must make it known to the public that there have been threats to the life of some of our leaders since the protest plans was first made public.

"We have it on good authority that some enemies of the state have gathered many hoodlums suspected to be smugglers and other beneficiaries of the illegal arrangement to hijack the protest, maim and molest the Nigerian Students.

"According to intelligent information at our disposal, some group of persons have been sponsored and mobilised to cause mayhem during our planned protest. 

"Their clandestine plan is to disrupt our peaceful protest and carry out their devilish agenda of unleashing terror on our members as well as other unsuspecting members of the public.

"A group of individuals have been financed to infiltrate our protest under the pretence of a secession agenda. These individuals were detailed to carry placards asking for the establishment of Yoruba Nation. This was intentionally conceived to water down our legitimate struggle.

"But as law-abiding citizens, we will not engage in any activity that will jeopardise the peace and tranquility being championed by our amiable and students-loving Governor, Dapo Abiodun.
 
"In light of the above, we hereby announce the postponement of the protest and extension of the deadline by 14 days.

"This postponement is by no means the end as the Nigerian Students are not cowards and can't be intimidated. This is to allow us restrategise in conformation with the new development.

"As a responsible leadership, we have no desire to unnecessarily put the lives of our Dear Students at risk by exposing them to avoidable harm and that explains the rationale behind the postponement", the students said.

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