The students of Federal University of Oye-Ekiti on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest over the poor power supply to the school.
During the protest, the students marched from the school gate to the office of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company in Oye-Ekiti, and later to the palace of the traditional ruler of the town..
All the way to the BEDC office, the students waved placards with various inscriptions and chanted ”We need light”, “Who off light, Nepa?” and “Light up Fuoye.”
Before their arrival at the BEDC office at Falex area of the town, however, the officials of the service provider had fled from their offices.
The angry students locked up the BEDC office and proceeded to the other office of the company at the Mini Campus of the university where they demanded that the officials should attend to them.
They later marched to the palace of the town’s king, after the BEDC officials refused to appear.
Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES, some of the students said the poor power supply had affected their academic activities.
One of the protesters, Kayode Adeyemi, a 300-level student of Accounting, also accused the service provider of extortion.
“They (BEDC) only give us light for three days before the month ends when they are about to distribute their bills. The federal government should come and see what is happening here. Students cannot read at night again. We say no to extortion at FUOYE,” Mr Adeyemi said.
Adedapo Awe of Demography Studies Department, said the university recieves electricity for only about five hours in a week.
“How do they expect us to study and iron our clothes? There has been rampant stealing of phones and other things because students go to whereever they see a generator to charge their phones.”
He urged the federal government to provide adequate electricity for the school.
“We know other federal schools like UNIBEN, UNILAG and UI have constant power supply. Why are we being deprived of our right?”
Speaking at the monarch’s palace, the President of the Students Union Government, Oluwaseun Awodola, said the power situation was affecting the academic performances of the students.
“On school roads, especially from the Sawmill downward to Simileoluwa and Faculty of Education, there has been no light for one year now.”
After listening to the protesters, the Oba Oloye of Oye-Ekiti promised to donate a 5000 unit transformer to ameliorate the problem at the university.
“I have a 5000 unit transformer, I will ask the NEPA to fix anytime they are ready.The local government has no money to fix it. But the BEDC which is collecting money from the clients will fix it at the junction where there is no transformer so that it can serve the students.”
He advised the students to stop the protest because the road on which they were marching is a busy interstate road.
The traditional ruler later showed the leaders of the students the transformer he promised to donate.
BEDC officials at Oye were not available for comment for this report as they stayed away from their office in fear for their safety.
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