The Students Union Government of Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta on Tuesday said it has consented to the directive of the university authorities that each student should pay N5,000 as reparation for damages during a violent protest.
A protest on August 18 by the students over a robbery attack on a hostel located outside the university campus in Alabata area of the town turned violent, resulting in wanton destruction of properties estimated at millions of naira.
A committee set up by the university management on the incident thereafter recommended reparation by the students for the destroyed properties.
A statement by spokesperson of the university, Emi Alawode, made available to PREMIUM TIMES stated that the students’ union government had accepted the recommendation.
“The students have been given time to pay and the President of the Students’ Union, Olusegun Nwenoye, has disclosed that the Union had no objection,” Mr. Alawode stated.
“As part of the decisions taken by Senate, every student of the University, including postgraduate students, those on Industrial Training (IT) and the Farm Practical Year (FPY), are expected to pay a reparation fee of Five Thousand Naira (N5,000) only,” she said.
The university spokesperson explained that the decision became necessary to enable the university fulfill its financial obligations that arose from the actions of students during the unrest.
“To ensure that due process was followed in the entire exercise, members of the general public were properly notified and given adequate time to submit their claims, as a ‘Call for Memoranda’ was widely communicated through the electronic and print media”, she said.
Ms. Alawode said a dedicated e-mail for submission of memoranda was also opened, while a specific phone line and handbills were used for effective correspondence.
“To ensure transparency and accountability, the University Management would not be involved in the disbursement of the funds.
“A special committee has been constituted that would ensure that the reparation fee is judiciously utilised, while the amount to be paid to each claimant would depend on the degree of loss suffered”.
She said all students were asked to make the payment “since it is practically impossible to determine the students that participated in the action”.
She said the measure would serve as a deterrent against future occurrence.
In a related development, the Governing Council of Divine Heights Bible Church, Abeokuta, said it had decided to forgive the university students that attacked the church and would not ask for payment for damages to the church’s property.
Ms. Alawode, who disclosed this, however said the church asked that owners of vehicles burnt within the church premises should be settled.
The students’ union of the university on Tuesday confirmed its consent to the payment.
The union’s president, Nwenonye Dennis, in a statement stated the union’s position.