On Tuesday, a protest occurred at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, MOUAU, Abia State, over management’s attempts to prevent students from writing their first semester examinations due to unpaid school fees.
The development disturbed the first-semester exam, which began on Monday.
There have been numerous stories of what sparked the protest, however several students claimed they were denied admission to the exam rooms due to alleged nonpayment of school fees.
According to them, they paid fees and had even been captured in the biometric verification exercise, but the machine failed to recognise their identity for a pass into the exam hall.
The students also claimed they should not be made to suffer for the failure of the machine after paying their fees.
Some accounts said the students were angry because the economic hardship in the country had made it difficult for their parents to pay their school fees.
Some said they were dissatisfied with the way and manner in which they were being dragged out of the exam hall by the university management.
The approach, according to them, did not go down well with the student community.
Dissatisfied with the approach of the university management over the school fee drive, the students started shouting, “No gree for anybody,” one student said.
In the ensuing uproar, the entire campus was thrown into a frenzy as students started barricading entrances to various offices.
The Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene highway that passed through the entrance gate to the university was also reportedly barricaded by angry students.
As a result, the university community was thrown into panic mode.
According to the voices of students in a viral video, the protest was a spontaneous reaction to the approach of the management over the fee drive.
When contacted, the acting Public Relations Officer, PRO, of the university, Mr Patrick Okpara, confirmed the incident but said that the situation had been brought under control.
He said that the students should have brought the complaint of any grievance to the Student Affairs office for attention instead of resorting to protest.
According to him, the students were given ample time to go for biometric verification, “which was in their interest.”
He, however, said it was not a violent protest but a peaceful protest, adding that things would soon be sorted out.
“They are still our students. We are giving them a chance to calm down. We spoke to them in the morning.
Everywhere is calm. There is no violence; there is no destruction. They will be addressed properly, and we will come to a consensus.”
— Nigeria Stories (@NigeriaStories) February 6, 2024