No fewer than 200 policemen stormed the campus of the Ebonyi State University (EBSU) yesterday to prevent members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, from staging a peaceful protest against the Federal government over its inability to address the ongoing strike by the union.
The EBSU chapter of ASUU had planned a peaceful protest on the streets of Abakaliki, the state capital, but they were prevented them from by policemen who were armed with AK 47 rifles, canisters of tear gas among others, who shut the gate leading to the College of Agricultural Science, CAS, Campus of the university, thereby preventing members of the Union from matching through the streets of Abakaliki and denying other members of the public and students who had other reasons for coming to the school entrance into the campus.
The policemen did a stop-and-search at the gate of the campus and retrieved all the materials and flyers for the protest from both the academic and non-academics staff .
The policemen who claimed to be acting on directives from Commissioner of Police, Maigari Dikko, were also drafted to the other three campuses of the institution: the permanent site campus at Ezzamgbo and those at Ishieke and Presco. They claimed to have stopped the procession from going out of the campus to prevent hoodlums from hijacking the protest.
Addressing the union members, the Divisional Police Officer in-charge of Ekumenyi Police Station, W.A Mustapha, as ASP, said, “I was directed by the police commissioner to come here and ensure that you restrict your rally within the school premises. There are other citizens of this country going about their normal businesses and we won’t want a situation where their movement will be restricted.”
This however did not stop the protest as the EBSU-ASUU members staged the protest within the campus, singing solidarity songs and carrying placards with the inscriptions: “FG: Save University Education”, “FG: Do not kill University education”, “FG: Agreement is Agreement”, “Poor University education makes every sector fake”, “Nigeria: “Fight poor education”, “FG-ASUU Agreement! FG has reneged, Say no to Beggarcracy,”among others.