Following the protest staged by the students of the institution, which resulted in the destruction of properties and facilities at the main campus, the management of Novena University, Ogume, Kwale, Delta State, has ordered the closure of the University.
The students protested the death of their colleague, a 300-level student, who died in an auto accident, while returning from a trip to withdraw money from an Automated Teller Machine, in the town.
The students claimed that the insensitivity on the part of the management of the institution resulted in her death, as there were no functional ATM services in the campus.
According to a statement released by the management, the closure is to allow it effect repairs on the damaged facilities.
The statement also ordered all the students to quit the campus within 24 hours. Reports have it that students were seen on Thursday morning, packing bags and baggage and moving out of the hostels to their different homes.
Meanwhile, the Presidential Amnesty Programme of the school, in a statement, signed by its President, Igbiriki Julius Timi, has commiserated with the family of the deceased student, while also expressing regret over the incident in which properties and facilities were damaged.
The student body also pleaded with the authority of the school, to involve all the stakeholders of the institution, while taking its decision on resolving the issue.
The tersely worded statement reads in part; ‘We the presidential amnesty students Novena University (PAP students) sincerely regret the death of our student, Miss Kelechi, who died on a ghastly motor accident on Tuesday 01/05/2018. We condole with her family, relatives and friends.
“It is so painful and heart breaking that she had to depart from us (Novena students) and never to return. Late Kelechi, a 300 level student of PCH department died, because she had to effect a banking transaction at Abraka, due to the long existing poor banking services being operated by Skye bank, in the school premises.
”The unfortunate incident had, triggered a massive protest in the school on Wednesday (02/05/2018) resulting in Novena students declaring yesterday as black Wednesday. “Students that massively came out for the protest cuts across, all the sections of the students, these include, self-sponsored students and amnesty students in the school.
“It is unfortunate and regrettable that the protest degenerated into a violent one, leading to destruction of school properties, ATM machines, and other valuables belonging to the bank. “We regret the actions taken by the entire students of the university and we call on the management of the institution, to look into the issues that led to these unfortunate incidents. “It has come to our (PAP students) notice that, the blame for the protest is been heaped on the amnesty students only and that some members of the school management are currently compiling the names of amnesty students, ostensibly, in order to place heavy sanctions on them.
” We want to use this medium to let the school management know that firstly, the protest was not staged by amnesty students only. Secondly, the protest was carried out and supported by over Ninety percent of all the students present in the university.
“Thirdly, we would not accept the alleged conspiracy by some members of the school management, to expel our students for a protest that was carried out by the entire students. The student body warned that it would not allow its members to be unjustly treated.
“The school authorities should know that for we (amnesty students),an injury to one is an injury to all”. Continues the statement;
“We would stand to protect ourselves on just issues, and cannot be intimidated or used as scapegoats. “If the school authorities truly want to expel students on a just ground, they should expel all students that were seen marching together in blacks, singing solidarity songs together on during the protest.
“We call on the school management to look into these issues properly in order to avoid suspicions and conflicts.
“As much as we sincerely condemn the actions of the entire Novena students, we want to appeal and advise the school management to involve the leadership of the PAP, and other stakeholders, including the student representatives before taking actions that may turn out to be unjust and unfair tro any of the parties”.