UniJos protests were unwarranted, says VC

Unijos school gate used to illustrate the story.
Unijos school gate used to illustrate the story.

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos, Hayward Mafuyai, has accused the school’s Student Union Government, SUG, of misinformation leading to the closure of the school.

Mr. Mafuyai, Thursday evening at a press conference in Jos, said the SUG wrongly informed the other students about an increment in development levy and tuition fee causing the students to stage a protest, which disrupted the institution’s academic calendar.

The Vice Chancellor said the protest by the students caused damages to the university.

He confirmed the shooting of the eight students and added that the affected students were responding to treatment.

He said some were admitted at the Jos University Teaching Hospital, JUTH, and others at the Plateau Specialist Hospital.

Mr. Mafuyai said the increments the SUG inflamed the students about, were actually school charges in existence before he became the VC two years ago.

“You will notice that they never mentioned any issue of increase in school charges that had been put in place long before I came into office, for which the students had all along been paying.”

He said the school authority had briefed the SUG on its decision to review students’ charges three times before the violence broke out.

Mr. Mafuyai said the SUG failed to convey the message to the other students and led them to a protest that caused destruction of lives and property.

Responding, the SUG President, Abel Nnok, in a statement sent to journalists on Friday, said the union had never said there were increments in school’s charges.

Mr. Nnok said the students protested for the removal of some of the school’s charges because they were unaffordable.

“These charges we are calling for review include: The removal of ten thousand Naira (N10, 000) purported developmental levy paid by all students.

“This is the same amount paid annually which has not gendered any physical development in the University. The prolonged ASUU strike we endured has brought about the sum of N5.6 billion to the University which is for a period of four (4) years.

“The ICT levy amounting to N4, 000 and the computer based test which is N2000 on the receipt are unjustifiable and totally unacceptable. It cannot be refuted that we do not have access to the internet regardless of the fact that we pay this much.

The SUG also said they wanted “the removal of the ten thousand naira as late registration fee” arguing that it is too much for the students.

The SUG President said these charges were extortion by the University’s management.

Authorities of the institution shut down the university indefinitely for fear of escalations of the protest where soldiers went on rampage, shooting at eight students.

The University’s Registrar, Jully Dandam, had on Tuesday directed all students to vacate the institution within three hours, till further notice.

The students totally complied with the directive and left immediately.

The Bauchi road campus is now being surrounded by security officials.

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