Following a peaceful protest staged on Monday by students of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Ondo State, the institution’s management has promised to work with relevant security agencies towards ensuring improved security of staff and students of the university.
The protest by the students was over alleged harassment and extortion by those described as miscreants and cultists.
The students had complained of incessant harassment especially near the university’s south gate, and a mass protest staged on Monday caused gridlock on Akure-Owo expressway.
They said the thugs suspected to be cultists harass students, especially those living off campus.
The Ondo State Television reported that it took the intervention of the Akure Area Commander of the Nigerian Police Force, Festus Otabo, to calm the students and ensure free flow of traffic on the highway.
The report quoted Mr Otabo to have said: “We have to give them reasonable time to express themselves since they are not violent. So we are ready to be with them till everything is okay.”
On Tuesday, in a telephone interview with PREMIUM TIMES, the university’s spokesperson, Adebanjo Adegbenro, said the students were justified by their action, saying calling the attention of relevant authorities to “obvious problems” caused by undesirable elements, was not out of order.
He said, though it is not the job of the school to arrest and prosecute, the university has always engaged stakeholders to make sure that the school environment is safe.
He said:“Ours is to ensure that the security agencies are aware and do their job. It’s not the job of the university to arrest and prosecute. So, the university has always been engaging the students, the community and the security agencies to ensure that these people are cleared from that location.
“We have made repeated reports to security agencies and that is being stepped up now so that that kind of situation will not occur again”
He said the school was moving to make sure that there is a “better and quicker response” to issues raised by the students.
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