19 February 2013

Nigeria: Protesting Uniabuja Students Stop Commencement of Examinations

Protesting students at the University of Abuja stormed a lecture hall and disrupted the commencement of examinations in the Faculty of Law, at the University Mini Campus in Gwagwalada.

According to eye witnesses at the University, the protesting students, said to be from the department of Engineering, started their protest at the main gate of the school, around eight o'clock in the morning.

The students reportedly closed the main gate of the school as they protested the scheduled commencement of second semester examinations for 400 level students in faculties and departments accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC).

When Daily Trust visited the Gwagwalada Mini Campus, the protesting students had already been dispersed by a group of soldiers, mobile police and plain clothes police men.

Heavy security presence could be seen around the campus; a police Truck was parked outside the perimeter fence of campus and about three police Hilux patrol vans were parked within the campus premises.

Some students still on campus told Daily Trust that the rioters are angry with the management of the school because of its inaction in getting several unaccredited courses recognized by the NUC.

They explained that the students had threatened to stop the commencement of exams after the school was closed last year, following protest by student over many unaccredited science courses in the university.

In the absence of Malam Waziri Garba, the official spokesman of the University, Malam Murtala Mohammed, the information officer of the Gwagwalada mini campus, said although there is no damage to school property, the protesting students destroyed exam scripts and answers booklets in the faculty of Law.

He expressed sympathy for the students whom just returned to school to write their final exams of the session, at the same time calling on the protesting students to pursue justice with gentility.

Murtala Mohammed further explained that the school was officially closed as only four hundred level students returned to write their exams, and their fate will be communicated to them after a soon to be held management meeting to assess the situation.

He described the insinuations by some students that the examinations was scheduled despite the threat by aggrieved students to protest, in an attempt to pitch the students against each other as unfounded.

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