Southern Kaduna Youth and Student Forum (SKYSFOM) have called on Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai to reopen three of states tertiary institutions that he shut down.
After serving the governor with a three-week ultimatum for reopening, the group decried the long closure of the institutions caused by the Southern Kaduna killings.
The governor closed Kaduna State University (KASU), Kaduna State College of Nursing and Kaduna State College of Education Gidan-waya last year due to the violence in the region.
To make sure the governor knows how committed they are to the ultimatum, they promised to pass a vote of no confidence on him once it passes and their demand has not been met.
The group disclosed its intentions through its National President, Galadima Jesse, who addressed journalists in Kafanchan.
He said, "In the wake of crisis in southern Kaduna in December 2016, the Kafanchan campus of Kaduna State University, College of Education, Gidan Waya, as well as School of Nursing, Kafanchan were closed by the State government for security reasons.
"We wish to start by expressing our dissatisfaction and disappointment with the administration of governor Nasir El- Rufai. It is a government that has no regard for the freedom of expression as enshrined in our constitution.
"However, our three weeks ultimatum, which commenced on June 12, 2017 for the reopening of the schools still stands and we intend to pass vote of no confidence on the governor if he refuses to reopen our schools after the ultimatum."
Jesse continued to fault the continued closure of the schools, pointing out that other government institutions like primary and secondary schools and markets in the region are operating without the same security issues.
He said, "The reasons given by the State Government is 'insecurity'. We find that laughable, ridiculous and an indictment on the government.
"Assuming that the excuse of insecurity is valid, then how come all other schools – private and public, state institutions, state agencies, markets and so many other institutions and facilities have been open all these while?
"Doesn’t the continued closure of the three tertiary institutions indict the government that it has been unable to secure it citizens?
"Isn't it also an indictment and an indirect way of saying that the security personnel drafted to Southern Kaduna, including a permanent military formation, is directly telling us that it is not able to secure the three schools?"
He went further to draw parallels with the Boko Haram problem in Borno state that has not resulted in the closure of the University of Maiduguri, despite getting attacked five times.
He said, "Can the state governor explain to us why the University of Maiduguri that has been persistently attacked and bombed remains open today, while the tertiary institutions in Southern Kaduna, that have never been attacked or bombed should be closed for close to a year?
"Is the State governor still trying to give a wrong impression to the outside world that Southern Kaduna is still in crisis when peace has returned to the zone?
"Which is more difficult; to reopen the Kafanchan Campus of KASU and continue with normal lectures, or transfer the students to the main campus in Kaduna, as the governor is trying to do? We say no to that."
He concluded by suggesting that the governor is trying to slow down the educational growth of the state, calling on members to intensify pressure on the governor to reopen the closed institutions.
"With all these, we make bold to say that Governor Nasir El-rufai is deliberately and methodically trying to slow down the educational growth of the people of Southern Kaduna and the institutions located within. This is a serious crime against humanity that the governor is guilty of and we make bold to say that we the students will lawfully and legally resist him.
"Consequently, we demand the immediate reopening of the tertiary schools in Kafanchan so that our members can go back and continue with their studies, because this same governor has told the world that normalcy has returned to Southern Kaduna, then why is the governor contradicting himself by ensuring the schools remain closed through the guise of insecurity? We say no to that!
"We call on all our members of the affected institutions never to get frustrated to the point of throwing away the garb of civility that we have been pursuing this issue. We assure them that we will never rest until they return back to school.
"In the meantime, we are organizing educating programs to engage their minds within the idle period," he added.