Saturday, 18 February 2017

FUTO Protest Update: How It All Started (Full story)


Information reaching us states that As at about 6am, the very peaceful, but now aggrieved Students of the prestigious FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY OWERRI (FUTO) has stormed the streets of FUTO and environs, on a peaceful protest, against the undeserved and unjust policies being meted out on the students recently. According to one of the protester who pleaded anonymity, the FUTO SUG has been compromised as they are not doing their job. He further added that due to the economic recession currently happening in the Country, the increase in school fees was totally unfair and unacceptable.

“Every new session in FUTO, one unexplained policy, will emanate from the management, in a bid to intimidate NIGERIAN STUDENTS and force money out of students pockets. They Come with the NO PAYMENT, NO EXAMS mandate, putting fear in the mind of students and forcing students to do whatever they would to get the money and pay”, one the aggrieved students said.

According to some other protesters, the school is currently the Federal University with the highest school fees. They also further stated that the fees has been constant for many years until the new VC came into office.
They gave the reasons for their grievance as follows:

1. As returning students, you cannot have access to schools accommodation. Unless you pay your school fees. ( which has not been the norm).
2. They have succeeded in increasing school fees, by up to 40%.
3. They have over the years denied us access to schools Wi Fi connectivity, of which #10000 from our school fee is tagged ICT FEE. (Students pay for Wi-Fi, and staff use the Wi-Fi)
4. Now, they are giving us a mandate, to pay up our increased school fees, on or before today, 17th February 2017 otherwise face a penalty of 10,000 and even stand the risk of not writing exam.
5. We are paying for transport within school via school buses but we haven’t seen any of such.
6. Graduates of 2016 are expected to pay extra N5,000 for school fees.
7. Course registrations are now tripled the price.

“Nigeria students are not happy. FUTO students are not happy. We have endured enough. We have been calm and intimidated enough. We can no longer take this. We are up on our feet. Our sister Federal Universities of Technology, are not facing the same. There is a mix up somewhere and we want to know the reason for the mix up today” they said.
During the protest which involved at least 10,000 students, windows of lecture halls were broken down, laptops were stolen from the ICT unit together with UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) and stabilizers, windscreens of FUTO buses were also broken down. Street lights in the school were also broken and the entire school properties were vandalized by the angry students of the school. The Vice Chancellor of the School, Prof. Francis Eze fled the school premises in fear of his life.

Plans to use the FUTO Man’O War as well as army and police officials proved abortive as they were out numbered. However, the armed men who came to bring the protest to an end only ended up throwing tear gas at the students which made them even more angrier. The protest is undoubtedly one of the biggest ever heard of in a Federal University in Nigeria.

Efforts made to reach the SUG Officials as regards the issue proved abortive as sources close to the SUG President, Comr. Akano Nnaemeka proved abortive. The student law makers have planned already to impeach the SUG President. At the time of filling this report, one student by name Comr. Ogbonna Rochas Collins (Former SUG PRO) had been arrested for spearheading the protest. On the other hand, a student was also shot on the leg.

As of 2:30pm today, students in the hostels have been directed to leave the hostel before 4pm. Some analyst have already speculated that it will cost the school management about 30-50 million to repair all the damages.

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