Thursday, 28 April 2016

University of Ibadan students go on rampage

The Authorities of the University of Ibadan (UI) on Tuesday, April 26, shutdown the institution indefinitely and ordered the students to vacate the campus immediately after the students protested vehemently this morning

Activities in UI was at a standstill in the early hours of Tuesday, as thousands of students went on rampage and shutdown the school gate over management’s victimization of a student who took part in a recent protest by the students as well as poor power and water supply in the school. 

The aggrieved students also vented their anger over persistent power failure in the school and lack of water supply. 

UI management had added an extra semester to a 500 Level Engineering student, Michael Tunji Epeti for partaking in a protest hundreds of students of the school staged recently to demand for improvement in power supply and lack of water in the school.

Very early in the morning, thousands of students, led by the Students Union President stormed the school gate and shut it while security men at the gate watched helplessly. 

A circular issued by the Registrar of the school, Dr O.I. Olukoya this evening said the management; in order to safeguard lives and properties had decided that the school should be shut indefinitely and that students should vacate the campus immediately. 

The circular is captioned:  “Disturbance of peace and threat to lives and property on campus by some students of the University of Ibadan and other students.”

The management said it was evident from the event of Monday 25 and Tuesday 26, April, 2016 that some students of UI and persons who claimed to be members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Southwest Zone from LAUTECH, Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, Polytechnic of Ibadan, Federal College of Agriculture, Ibadan and the Federal School of Statistics in Ibadan were determined not only to disturb the more cherished peace and tranquility on campus, but to threaten the lives and properties of the entire university community.

“These elements are operating dangerously by wearing mask whereby threatening the peace and security of innocent students and staff at their places of work. Majority of them have been going round campus to disrupt classes and assaulting students and lecturers from class and office. Fresh in the memory are the disturbance and vandalism of the Department of Anatomy, Human Nutrition.

“It has been gathered that those protesting are going under claim of the rustication of one semester to a student who should have been expelled for misconduct and power outage and water which the management is addressing. 

“Based on the foregoing are the need to protect lives and property on campus; the university management, after wider consultation, decided that all students are to proceed on break until further notice,” the circular reads.

Meanwhile, students have continued to defy the VC’s order of immediate evacuation as protests continued today, April 27. 

The school management is said to be threatening to use military force to evacuate students. Threats of expulsion has also been used as a weapon against the students, but they have continued to occupy the main gate of the campus, promising to fight to finish. 

Students could be seen cooking food on the street, with music from Disc Jockeys (DJ) blaring to keep the spirit of the protest. Activities at the citadel of learning have been paralyzed as no vehicle is allowed in and out of the school.

 Lecturers and others who live off campus could not drive into the school this morning as all gates leading to the institution were shut by the students. 

There was traffic gridlock on front of the school and on UI road as the large number of vehicles wanting to enter the school could not do so.

A post graduate student, who craved anonymity, told our reporter that massive crowd of students turned out for the protest and that people were not allowed to snap pictures so that the school’s management would not single out more students for victimization. 

He said the students want the management of the school to reverse their decision to impose an extra semester on Epeti for taking part in a protest, saying that until the management reverses the decision, the school gate would remain closed. 

He added that the students were also protesting poor power supply to the school as well as lack of water, saying that he did not even had his bath in the morning.

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