Students of the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), on Friday protested an alleged increase in school fees by the management of the university.
The News Agency Nigeria (NAN) reports that Staff and visitors to the university were held hostage for some hours the protest lasted.
NAN also reports that the students locked the main entrance gate and other gates to the institution, thereby preventing people from going in or coming out.
A student who pleaded anonymity accused the school authority of being insensitive to the plight of the students, who just returned to school after eight months of ASUU strike.
According to him, UNN had directed new students to start paying the new tuition fees.
He said the new tuition has been uploaded in student’s profiles and even incoming first-year students have started paying the fees.
NAN reports that some of the placards carried by the protesting students read that the old fees as N47,00 while the new fee is N95,000.
According to the student, “It’s happening at a time we are expecting compensation from the Federal Government and even the school authorities for keeping us at home for eight months as a result of the ASUU strike.
Mr Michael Abuchi, President, Students Union Government (SUS) of UNN, who addressed the students before the protest, said the protest was to reject the recent 100 per cent increase in school fees by management.
“We reject the recent 100 per cent increase in school fees by the school management.
“This protest is to let management know our feelings and for them to cancel the increment immediately. They should know that many students are from poor families,“ he said.
Abuchi said it was unfortunate that while SUG was still negotiating with the school management on the proposed increment, the management went ahead to effect the 100 per cent increase.
The SUG president, however, told the students that the protest should be peaceful and warned against any form of vandalism or destruction of school property.
“Please as we move this protest to major roads in the campus and to the main gate of the university, be peaceful and avoid any form of destruction.
“We have locked all the gates leading to UNN during this protest, so that management will know we are serious and not happy with the school over the increment,” Abuchi said.
A visitor who identified himself as Mr Desmond Ezema, told NAN “the students have a right to protest the alleged increase but they should open the gates to allow people to come in and go out to do their lawful businesses,“ Abuchi said.
Some placards carried by the protesting students have inscriptions such as “100 per cent increment is outrageous and untimely”, “UNN management return to negotiation table with SUG executives,” “It is the UNN and the FG that are supposed to compensate students for keeping us at home for 8 months because of ASUU strike.
“This increment is a deliberate attempt to deny many students from poor families access to education among others.”
Efforts by NAN to get reaction from Prof Charles Igwe, the Vice-chancellor of the institution, was unsuccessful as calls and text massages to his cell phone were not replied as of the time of filing this report.