Students of the Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State, on Monday barred their colleagues and staff from entering the school premises while expressing rage over the dearth of learning facilities in the institution.
FUOYE is one of the universities established by the federal government in the twilight of the Jonathan administration.
The university has suffered from poor funding, leading to an intermittent crisis within three years of its existence.
The restive students began their protest in the early hours of Monday by blocking the entrance to the campus, vowing to continue the protest until their demands were met.
Part of their demands was for the Federal Government to provide more funds to complete some approved projects in the university.
They laid siege to the gate for several hours, expecting to get the Vice-Chancellor, Kayode Shoremelun, to attend to them.
Speaking to journalists on the demands by the students, the Public Relations Officer of the Students Union Government, Omofoye Adetola, said it was the resolution of the SUG to stage a peaceful protest in making their demands.
“Our demands are that our road in phase 3 and to Engineering Faculty must be fixed, building of makeshift classrooms in faculties of education, health, engineering and others approved must start now,” said the SUG’s image maker.
“Although the school’s management has approved the Ikole campus sports complex, its building has not commenced. We want the WiFi connection in both Oye and Ikole campuses to start immediately.
“The management is right in nonpayment of school fees, but we have been appealing to them to pay promptly and they have been responding well for the past two weeks. We urge the management to review the payment of the fees to assist the students.”
However, Mr Shoremekun said those behind the protest might be students who had failed to pay their fees and had been barred from taking the forthcoming examination.
He also said the aggrieved students might be protesting against the delay in completing the main library abandoned by his predecessor.
He said serious efforts had been made to improve on the school facilities, but protocol had to be followed as demanded by the Federal Ministry or Education.
He added that the bureaucratic procedures had slowed down the process of getting some facilities, especially the abandoned main library, in proper shape.
He assured that the library would be in place by next month, noting that the management was engaging the students’ representatives in dialogue to end the crisis.
He, however, warned that students who failed to pay their fees would not be allowed to take the examinations.
“I have already had extensive consultations with those in Ikole campus last week and I had promised that out of our meagre resources we will attend to their complaints, which are building classrooms, providing street lights, sinking of boreholes and they are already doing some of them as I speak to you,” the Vice Chancellor noted.
“Having dialogued with them I am surprised that they are now protesting. My suspicion is that those who are behind this are those who don’t want to pay their school fees and they know that exams are coming and to that extent, they are trying to cause problems for the university and in the process they causing problems for themselves.
“As regards Oye campus, this is ironical, because I am surprised that they are doing this also. Intelligence reports showed that they want us to begin to use the abandoned library by past administration.
“We are at the moment trying to ensure that the library is functional as we are providing power, water and others.”