By Emeka Okafor
Post-Graduate Students of Political Science of Nile University, Abuja, has debunked media reports that the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN) was booed while recently delivering a lecture at the institution.
They also clarified a comment credited to the minister where he was quoted to have said Nigerians will beg for return of the now disbanded SARS over the worsening insecurity across the country.
In a statement signed by Chubado Babbi Tijjani for PhD students of the Department of Political Science and International Relations, Nile University Abuja, who were the organisers of the lecture, said Keyamo was never booed nor mocked at any point during the event.
They said Keyamo, who delivered a paper on “Challenges of Global Security and the Implications for International Human Rights Law: An African Perspective”, only remarked that the upsurge of crimes in some parts the country was not unconnected with the disbandment of SARS without a ready replacement.
“For the records, the Minister was invited to deliver a paper on “Challenges of Global Security and the Implications for International Human Rights Law: An African Perspective.” Part of the points he made during the lecture was that the recent upsurge of crimes recorded in some parts Nigeria is not unconnected with the disbandment of SARS without a READY replacement and the release of hardened criminals in Correctional Centres in some parts of the country.
“He went further to say, that what we needed to do as a nation was to insist on punishment for the erring SARS operatives and not a disbandment of the Unit. He cited examples of the wave of robberies in the country during the eras of Armed Robbers like Lawrence Anini and Ishola Oyenusi and other similar incidents that led to the birth of SARS. He feared that we may be returning to that era because we threw the baby away with the bath water.
“He noted how some Police officers in the US have also been involved in extra judicial killings of Blacks, but nobody, including the Blacks that protested, called for the disbandment of those patrol units or any other unit of the US Police as a solution to this.
“They have always insisted on bringing the erring officers to book. It was in this context he submitted that it may reach a point when we may begin to clamour for the return of SARS to help fight these violent crimes that are returning to our society as the regular Police is neither equipped nor trained to fight these dare-devil robbers. The lecture was thought-provoking and intellectual”, the statement explained.
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The organisers added that the Minister was applauded by students during the lecture, stressing that Nile University as an institution of higher learning welcomes shades of opinions that will strengthen the nation’s education.
“The hall for the lecture was filled with about 300 students that attended alongside the Vice-Chancellor and many Professors. There was occasional applause throughout the lecture and no single person booed the Minister.
“Very many students had their phones out and were recording throughout the lecture and if any such incident happened, you can be sure the video of the boos would have been trending by now.
“We challenge SaharaReporters to produce any such video from the lecture. Many students took photographs with the Minister after the lecture before he departed.
“As a citadel of learning, we welcome all shades of ideas and opinions in our environment and we are not skewed towards any particular kind of politics or opinions. That is the beauty of education”, it further added.