The Bayelsa State-owned Niger Delta University (NDU), Wilberforce Island, was, Monday, shut down by students following what they described as outrageous increase in all categories of fees in the school.
The aggrieved students were said to have shut the gate to the main entrance of the school in Amassoma, Southern Ijaw, stopping vehicular movement into the campus.
The protest, which coincided with an indefinite strike declared by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) reportedly, crippled academic and social activities on campus.
The students were said to be angry over hike in school fees, electronic course registrations and non-inclusion of students’ representation in decision-making.
The demonstration, which was led by the President of the Student Union Government (SUG), Mr. Kemes Mitin, was said to be peaceful without skirmishes.
The students lamented that the school authority was gradually turning the state university into a private institution in its quest to raise revenue.
For instance, they cried out that the electronic registration per course which was hitherto N1000 had been increased to N4200.
The demonstrators carried placards with messages such as, “NDU is not a private institution”, “we say no to increment of course registration” and “return e-pin for course registration to N1000”.
Confirming the demonstration, Mitin said the action was to peacefully tell the school management to halt the increase because the students could not afford them.
On the strike declared by ASUU, the Port-Harcourt Zonal Chairman of the union, Prof. Beke Sese, confirmed that the zone including NDU fully complied with the nationwide action.
Sese said: “My immediate job is make sure that all chapters join in the strike action.
We in the Port-Harcourt zone have intermittently warned government in the past of some gross inadequacies in remunerations and infrastructural development of the universities, including non-payment of salaries.
“Just like the national body said, there shall be no teaching, no examination and no attendance of statutory meetings of any kind in any of our branches till government meets the union’s demands.”
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