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Campus Gist reports happenings in campuses gathered across various institutions in Africa by student journalists. First-hand and accurate reportage from Edugist Campus Ambassadors that are full time students in the campuses.

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UNIABUJA Appeals to Students, Begs them to Calm Down

Management of the University of Abuja has appealed to all law-abiding students to refrain from disrupting the 2019/2020 Academic Calendar, noting that a lot of time had already been lost to the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and COVID-19 pandemic.

The appeal was as a sequel to the protest by its students on Monday over alleged injustice to them by its authorities.

Management has however informed that it is putting all necessary measures in place to address issues raised by its students regarding their academic programmes.

The students shut the entrance to the university’s permanent site, demanding the opening of the school’s portal, review of the school’s fees as well as allowing students to pay their fees without the imposition of the deadline.

President, Students Union Government, SUG, of the institution, Oladeji Adebolawale, who led the protest explained that “We are here this morning to show our displeasure through a peaceful protest with no violence. For the past four hours that we have been here, there is no form of violence.

“We have our demands, which are reopening of the school portal till the end of the session, no student should be coerced to write to anybody in the school before he or she is allowed to pay school fees and other demands. If these demands are accented to, we will be okay.

“Also, we are here to register our displeasure and to let the Vice-Chancellor know that it is not only the SUG president and his cabinet that are not happy about happenings in the school but that the whole university of Abuja students.”

Reacting to the development, the University of Abuja, said it was embarking on all necessary measures aimed at addressing the issues raised by the students.

Thus, it appealed to law-abiding students to refrain from actions that could disrupt the ongoing academic session.

According to a statement by Head, University Relations, Dr Habib Yakoob,
The University of Abuja said, “This morning, Monday 1st February 2021, at 7:30 am, some students blocked the Main Gate of the University, preventing other students and staff from gaining access into the campus.

“The students said they were demanding the reopening and extension of school fees payment portal, cancellation of the late registration fee, and postponement of exams till 8th of March 2021.

“University Management states that following the release of 2019/2020 Academic Calendar by the Senate of the University, the registration of students was to be done in four weeks.

“Following the expiration of this process, the University closed the portal in February 2020 in line with the 2019/2020 Academic Calendar.

“Yet after pleas from the students’ union, the Vice-Chancellor, in his magnanimity, twice directed the reopening, at different times, of the portal to accommodate those who didn’t register on time.

“In the last one week, a couple of meetings were held with the students’ union which again demanded the re-opening of the portal. The University administration held an emergency meeting with the union at 2.00 pm on Sunday 31st January 2021 and considered their appeal.

“Consequently, the portal was reopened on Sunday 31st January 2021 for registration, for another two weeks – till February 14, 2021, and the students were duly informed. Again, the late registration fee for those who had not paid their school fee as well as those who paid but did not register was waived; and the late registration fee of N5, 000 was to be refunded to students who had earlier paid.

“University Management, is, however, surprised that while so many of our students were excited to be resuming to campus today after ten months at home, they were held back by some elements among students who are protesting the same issue that had already been addressed by the University.

“The University appeals to all law-abiding students to not partake in disrupting the 2019/2020 Academic Calendar, considering the amount of time lost to the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and Covid-19 pandemic; and that it is putting all necessary measures in place to address this unfortunate development. ”

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About the author

Abigael Ibikunle

Associate Correspondent at Edugist, Abigael Ibikunle is a Mathematics Education graduate. A professional Journalist and a passionate writer. She can be reached via: abigail@edugist.org/+2347035835612

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