Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The Management of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, MOUAU, has said that the university recorded tremendous loss during Tuesday’s protest by students.
Ikengaonline had reported that students of the university resorted to protest over attempt by management to stop them from writing their first semester examination without completing the payment of charges.
Addressing a news conference on Wednesday, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, said management was still taking inventory of the property destroyed by miscreants during the protest he described as a riot.
The VC said that miscreants infiltrated the protesters and took undue advantage of it to unleash violence on the university.
He said it would be a surprise if students of the university would be part of those responsible for the quantum of destruction inflicted on the institution during the protest.
Meanwhile, the VC who said that the University Senate would meet on Thursday to take decision on the next line of action, warned that students who allowed themselves to be used by the miscreants, would have themselves to blame.
He said it would be hard to believe that those who pulled down fence and attempted to loot banks and laboratories, set lecture hall ablaze, were students.
“We have toured the campus this morning and seen things for ourselves. Students would not have been stupid to burn their lecture theater and library; attempted looting a bank on campus; looting laboratories, shattering glasses of all buildings.
“These actions, I’m sure were performed by miscreants who forced the students to join them.”
Professor Iwe said that the Management under his watch had strived to safeguard the welfare of students and wondered why they would agree to be part of the destructive protest.
The VC who identified paucity of funds as one of the major challenges of the institution, noted with concern that while the institution receives only N9 million as monthly overhead, it spends N100 million monthly as running cost.
On the policy of not allowing students to sit for exams without paying their complete charges, the VC said it was not peculiar to MOUAU.
He explained that the university needed funds to run, hence the decision of management to insist that every student must pay complete charge before taking exam.
He further explained that contrary to some reports, the management did not increase charges by 60%, dismissing the reports as false.
Professor Iwe argued that the university would be grounded if students fail to pay their various charges needed to keep the university running.
He said that the economic realities had made it increasing expensive to run a university.
According to him the cost of diesel which before now was about N44 million, has gone beyond N55 million per month.
The VC also said that biometric verification was introduced by management to stop impersonation in examination halls and cases of missing scripts.
Professor Iwe who claimed that the forces benefitting from the anomalies being confronted by his administration are fighting back, vowed to push on with his fight against corruption.
He said that anyone caught trying to cut corners would be severely dealt with.
Professor Iwe said he would not relent in his bid to make MOUAU a better university.