The management of University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) has announced the closure of the university for one month following the violent students’ protest over the new tuition fee policy on Monday in Port Harcourt. Click here if you missed it
Dr Williams Wodi, UNIPORT’s Deputy Registrar (Information), made this known in a text message sent to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
According to the statement, the decision to close the school was reached during an emergency Senate meeting convened to address the students’ protest over the “no tuition fee-no-examination policy.”
“Senate has shut down the University of Port Harcourt with immediate effect. All students are hereby directed to vacate their hostel accommodation before 6 p.m. today (Monday), while Students’ union and all its affiliates’ bodies are suspended with immediate effect. The closure will last for a period of one month,” the text message read.
Wodi had earlier told NAN that the protesting students destroyed his office and Faculty of Science building.
According to him, students’ had been served several notices to pay their tuition fees before examination which was scheduled to commence on Monday (today).
The spokesman said that 98% of the student population had complied with the no-fees-no-examination policy before the protest.
“We were patient and generous enough such that we shifted the policy implementation five times from November 2015 to April 7, 2016. The exam was scheduled to begin today (Monday), but protesting students have successfully disrupted the exams of which we are taking inventory of destruction on campus. The police are currently trying to contain the situation of which the rules of engagement is not to injure anyone but to pick up those who are ring leaders of the protest,” he said.
NAN recalls that UNIPORT management had in 2015, adopted a policy which made tuition fee a prerequisite for student’s participation in examination, a policy which compelled defaulting students to repeat a whole academic session.
The protest, which initially started on a peaceful note, later turned violent with the students in their hundreds, destroying school property worth millions of naira.
The students had demanded the withdrawal of the policy, which they argued, was unfair to poor students.