ASESI warns of students’ riot over lockdown without incentives

The African Students Education Support Initiative, a monitoring group, has raised the alarm that some students and union leaders in tertiary institutions were planning to take over the streets due to the Federal Government-imposed 14-day lockdown without any palliatives for the youths.

The ASESI Executive Director, Chinonso Obasi, stated this on Monday, urging the government to reach out to the student population during the lockdown.

Obasi noted that despite a few interventions through the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, the government could still do more for its teeming student and youth population.

He said, “I have been receiving calls from students and youth leaders across the country, expressing dissatisfaction with the disbursements made so far by the government without any clear record of capturing the majority of citizens, the Nigerian youths and students in the plans.

“About 70 per cent of Nigerian youths are unemployed and in every 10 Nigerian students, six are on self-sponsorship. The risk of keeping this group of vulnerable people, who solely depend on day-to-day activities for survival for two weeks without any palliatives to support their daily upkeep is a serious compromise of national stability and a threat to national security.

“As a group, we have been engaging and encouraging the young ones to comply with the government directives in curbing the pandemic and we are glad that there is relative compliance. But this is the time for the government and well-meaning citizens to identify organised youth and student groups to reach out with palliatives to help cushion the effect of the sit-at-home order of the Federal Government.

“We have records of youths and students who have had nothing to eat for days now. The leaderships of some youth organisations are also planning on mobilising their members on a protest against negligence by the government.

“It will cost the government nothing to reach out to the youths and students to avert the worst case scenario as their patience is thinning out.”

 The ASESI director, however, appealed to the body of students and youths in the country to continue to abide by the self-isolation and social distancing advice.
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