Abia State University, Uturu, was yesterday shut indefinitely, following protest by the students against the management’s decision not to allow them write their examinations unless they paid their first and second semesters’ school fees.
The students said the “no-fee-no-examination” directive issued by the university management was draconian, considering the difficult economic situation in the country.
Sources said that majority of the students had not paid the fees because of the increase in fees, adding that students pleaded to be allowed to write their examinations, even as they asked for more time to pay up.
Eye witness account said the university campus had been deserted and taken over by soldiers and other security personnel to ensure that the protest did not degenerate to a crisis level.
It was learnt that not much damage was done to school properties due to the timely intervention of the soldiers.
The university authorities had scheduled to start the second semester examination on Monday but had to shift it to next week to enable students pay up their fees.
The protest was sparked off following the insistence of the university management for the students to completely pay up their first and second semester fees.
“The students were looking for the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Chibuzor Ogbuagu. Thank God they did not see him before the security men intervened, otherwise we will be telling a different story because the students see him as their problem.
“Here on campus, students openly condemn his administration. They believe that his tenure brought hardship as it was within his term that this high fee was introduced. So they are not happy with him.
“Though there were no much damage due to the timely intervention of the soldiers and other security agencies, everywhere is initially so rowdy. But the whole place is now deserted.
“The management has not said anything yet. So we don’t know whether the university will be closed or not,” said a student who spoke to Vanguard on phone from the university community.
Effort to get the reaction of the management proved abortive but a source close to the university told Vanguard that the university had been closed indefinitely and students asked to vacate campus.