In a space of one week, three Nigerian institutions of higher learning, University of Nigeria Enugu Campus (UNEC), University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) and now Abia State University (ABSU) have been shut down over tuition fees, Aluu4 killings and tuition fees respectively.
Yesterday, Abia State University, Uturu, was shut down, following protest by the students against management’s decision not to allow them write their examinations except they pay their first and second semesters’ school fees – ranging from between 80,000 to 120,000 for second year to final year students while the first year students are to pay 120,000 and above.
The students said the “no-fee-no-examination” directive issued by the Abia State University management was unfair, considering the prevalent harsh economic reality in the country.
And majority of the students are reportedly yet to pay their fees. Security agents were reportedly deployed into examination halls to chase indebted students out. This move allegedly did not go down well with the final year students as they resisted and in the process destroyed public properties within the school premises.
As a result, the exams were discontinued as the riot continued and today, students are reportedly burning tires in a sign of defiance. However, there was no report of injuries or further damage to properties as security operatives were on hand to prevent the situation from degenerating.
In order to stem the possibility of the protest spinning out of control, the school gate was shut and students were given till 6pm yesterday, Wednesday, to vacate the school premises till further notice.