There was tension at the Delta State University, Abraka, on Monday, as students of the institution kicked against what they tagged the astronomical increase of school fees. The angry students in their hundreds stormed the campus in the early hours of the day and shut down the main entrance gates as well as all other access roads, thus preventing vehicular movement into and out of the institution. The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions calling on the management to review the increment in fees. One of the placards read, â€˜We donâ€™t want to be involved in ritual activities and sex trade in search for money for school feesâ€™. The angry students lamented that the management was pushing students into prostitution and ritual activities by its action and appealed to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to intervene without further delay and order a downward review of the tuition in the stateâ€™s tertiary institutions. They stated that unless the decision on the fee increment was reviewed, lots of students would drop out of school. An eyewitness told our correspondent, â€œThe protesting students, both Deltans and non- Deltans, arrived at the Abraka campus in their numbers and locked up the main gate and the gates of the other sites. â€œThe protesters can be heard singing and calling the governor and the vice-chancellorâ€™s names. â€œThe protesters appealed to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to review the astronomical increase in school fees in the state as they donâ€™t want to be involved in ritual activities and sex trade in search for money for tuition.â€ However, the management of DELSU said all issues arising from the hike in school fees would be well handled and resolved in a civilised manner, while commending the students of the institution. This was contained in a statement by the institutionâ€™s Director of Ceremonials, Information and Public Relations, Prof Ben Nwanne. While urging the students to proceed with the registration of their courses as student leaders were already discussing with management, the statement insisted that â€œthe only recognised body holding brief for students on the matter is the Studentsâ€™ Union Government.â€ The statement read in part, â€œWe are proud to say that DELSU students have in the recent past chosen the path of peaceful negotiation and constructive engagement in resolving issues. Please, stay on that path. â€œManagement reassures all students that the adjustment in fees is only for the new students as old students will continue to pay the old fees. The adjustment is only a reflection of the signs of the time and it should be seen as something we all need to adjust to. Rest assured that we are all in this together as we have your best interest at heart. â€œOghale Emeka Rex, who is not a student of any Nigerian university, but claiming to be Deputy Coordinator of NANS Zone â€˜Bâ€™, is the one stirring up protests in the university and also at the newly established Delta State University of Science and Technology, Ozoro. â€œTo show managementâ€™s good faith, we have embarked on the following: Management has increased the number of students to participate in the work-study scheme for them to earn income to support their education; over 50 per cent of participants in the work-study scheme shall be new students, who are the ones affected by the fees adjustment; the work-study scheme has been extended to the Oleh campus; the payment of school fees in two instalments will be sustained so that it can be paid in two semesters; the variations in the breakdown of school fees in some faculties are being addressed and management is also holding talks with the SUG to resolve whatever issues are outstanding.â€
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