For the second time this year, authorities of the University of Abuja have shut down the institution following students’ protest. Despite the fact that second semester examination was already underway, the students’ protest which led to major roads and huge traffic congestion resulted in the institution being shut down.
According to Sahara Reporters, the students went on a rampage to protest the non-accreditation of some of their courses. The accreditation panel of the National University Commission had recently refused to certify some of the courses being run by the university. Some of the courses are in the Faculty of Engineering, Agriculture and Sciences.
The protest, which commenced at 6:00 AM, was started by students from the Faculty of Engineering. Many students soon joined in blocking the main gate of the school to protest harsh conditions of education and general mismanagement of the university by officials the students regard as incompetent and irresponsible.
Some students said the university is in poor condition as inhabitants of the girls hostel lack of water supply which forces them to fetch water from the boys hostel. Student leaders of the protest said the school is also bedeviled with overpopulated classes, cancelled lectures, lack of library facilities and lecture halls as well as the refusal of the school authorities to allow for independent student union elections.
The protests quickly spread as several students took to the street just as some of their colleagues began sitting for their first semester examinations, which ought to start on Monday. The protest led to the cancellation of examination in various classes slated for the day as lecturers and invigilators abandoned the two campuses to safety.
It would be recalled that in April, the management of the institution closed the University after a violent protest by students resulted in a breakdown of law and order in the school community.
The students had protested the suspension of four courses offered by the University – Medicine, Veterinary medicine, Engineering and Agriculture which failed to get accreditation from the NUC.
It is hoped that the relevant authorities would look into the cause of protests and find a lasting solution soon. It is bad enough that the students were so disturbed by the non-accreditation of their courses and poor standards of education that they had to take their protests to the streets. Shutting down the University would only result in wasting useful time and unnecessarily prolong the students stay at the University.