Academic and vehicular activities were on Monday paralysed as students of the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, protested the non- availability of water and electricity supply in the institution. Commercial activities within Agbowo Shopping Complex and shops at the UI axis of the Mokola-Ojoo Road were also paralysed as the aggrieved students mounted roadblocks in the area. Our correspondent learnt that the protest was spearheaded by residents of the Independence and Nnamdi Azikiwe halls who were the most hit by the scarcity of water and electricity on the campus. It was learnt that there was a protest in the university earlier on Sunday night when the situation became unbearable for the students who claimed they have been witnessing total blackout in the school for three days. Visitors, students and members of staff of the institution were seen trekking to their various destinations as intra- campus transport services were asked not to operate. The protesting students carried placards with inscriptions such as ‘Where is our right?’ ‘University of Ibadan is the first but the worst.” ‘We are tired of darkness and drought,’ and ‘No light, no water, no life; we are fed up.’ The Chairman, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, Mr. Jonathan Omolona, told journalists that efforts to
pacify the students failed. Omolona, who faulted the students for taking the protest beyond the university gate, said, “They had complained of scarcity of water and electricity in their hostels. The protest is legal, we support their cause but they have to limit it to the campus.” The Divisional Police Officer, Sango Police Division and the Area Commander, Agodi, Mr. Aliyu Garuba, led policemen to keep the protesting students off the road for free traffic flow. Some of the students, who spoke with journalists, lamented that light had not been stable on the campus for some weeks. One of the students, who gave his name simply as Adeola, said, “We are really suffering as a result of shortage of water and poor power supply. While we find it difficult to read at night
as a result of epileptic power supply, we are at risk of epidemic as a result of shortage of water in the school.” The shortage of water, it was learnt, was caused by epileptic power supply. The students accused the institution’s management of failing to take their plight into consideration. The Director, Public Communication, UI, Mr. Olatunji Oladejo, hinted that the management had put in place measures to improve water and electricity supplies in the students’ halls of residence. Oladejo said that a team had been put in place to ensure regular supply of water and electricity. He said, “The university is already working hard to improve the situation.
We are appealing to the students to bear with us as things will soon be normalised.”
Source: Punch Nigeria