Six Nigerian students who are to represent the country at the Africa Robotics Challenge (ARC) in South Africa on September 28 have cancelled their due to fear of their safety.

The students made this known at a media briefing on Monday in Lagos. They said the organisers have failed to assure them of their safety throughout their stay for the competition.

The students are: Tirenioluwa Shobande, 18, a 100-level Systems Engineering student of the University of Lagos (UNILAG); Ifeoluwa Aigbiniode, 15, of Yaba College of Technology Secondary School and Jeffrey Nwafor, 15, of S-TEE International School, Kolawole Olatunji, 19-year-old a 100-level student Computer Science Education of Lagos State University (LASU); Toluwanimi Akinola, 15 year-old, of Dansol High School and Aromolaran Dominion, 14 year-old, of Supreme Education Foundation.

The National Coordinator Mrs Remi Willoughby stated that the organisers had made it known that can’t provide tight security and ascertain the safety of the students while in South Africa.

Mrs Willoughby said the organisers indicated that while in South Africa, the Nigerian competitors would not reveal their nationality nor be able to go out for sight-seeing beyond the competition venue. According to her, the host said the event will not be given publicity and that no one else will be invited to witness the competition.

She stated that they had planned to go to South Africa for this robotics competition, which is basically supposed to be for few African countries and would have held on September 28.

However, they will not be attending because of the situation in South Africa currently. And the fact that she cannot personally guarantee the safety of the students while there, and with the host telling them that even if they attended, it will not be announced.

That the Nigerian competitors will come in quietly and they will not wear their Nigerian T-shirts and that the bus that will convey them will not display our logo of Green, White, Green! So, they can’t proudly showcase the country.

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