Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 2 August 2017 | 1,972 times
No fewer than 500 students of the Federal College of Education, Nsugbe, Wednesday blocked the Enugu/Onitsha expressway to protest alleged extortion and intimidation by officials and agents of Anambra Government.
The students, who gathered under the aegis of Joint Campus Committee (JCC), Anambra State, chanted solidarity songs while carrying placards with the inscriptions, “Voice of Students Must be Heard”, “Students Say No to Intimidation”, “Uju Akudo Must Go” “Commissioner for Transport Encouraging Touts”, among others, etc.
It took a re-enforcement of the police team led by Superintendent Willie Odumu from the State Police Headquarters to convince the protesters to leave the way as they insisted on having the State Governor, Willie Obiano, address them or they would remain on the road.
Addressing the protesting students, Odumu said that they had the right to peaceful protest but should not disturb public peace in the process. He assured them that their grouse had been noted and pleaded with them to make way for motorists and other road users.
Speaking to newsmen, the Chairman of JCC in Anambra State, Mr. Betty Okoye, said the students could no longer condone the situation where agents who claimed to be working for government inflicted hardship on students.
He claimed that agents of government frustrated the bus station designated for students’ shuttle park in Onitsha from functioning, adding that the students of Nwafor Orizu College of Education Nsugbe had earlier paid between N50 and N70 when the designated park was functional but were now made to pay between N150 and N200 in the agents’ designated parks.
Okoye called on Obiano to stop illegal agents from conniving with officials of government to cause hardship for students, thereby giving him a bad image.
“It is painful that the only thing we are supposed to enjoy from government is being denied us by its agents in the transport ministry. They have prevented us from using the park that we created for ourselves to enhance our security and make the fare cheap but are forcing us to pay through our noses,” he said.
On her part, Miss Nkechi Obi said the students were spending almost all their allowances on transport in spite of the present hardship and urged the State Government to come to their rescue.
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