The University of Abuja was on Monday morning shut down by authorities of the school after a violent protest broke in the institution over non accreditation of some courses.
The protest was staged by visibly aggrieved students of the faculties of Medicine, Agriculture, Veterinary Medicine and Engineering over non-accreditation of their programmes in spite of the huge tuition fees collected each year.
This is happening right on the first day of the school’s second semester exams to mark the end of the 2012 academic calendar year.
A source at the university who spoke on condition of anonymity, said today’s event is a follow up of a protest that was held weeks ago by the students where about three vehicles were allegedly destroyed.
One student who also spoke to this website alleged that in a bid to quell the crisis that broke out two weeks ago, the school authorities hired some local Fulani herdsmen, popularly called agwoyi, to beat up the protesting students.
However, Monday’s protest is said to be a direct result of an announcement by the minister of education, Ruqayyatu Rufa’i, last week Tuesday, suspending the above mentioned programmes in the school, citing lack of facilities and failure to accredit the courses by the National Universities Commission, NUC.
The worried students, some already in their final year, confronted the reality of the minister’s proclamation when they were prevented from sitting for their exams on the grounds that the exercise would be of no use as their programmes had been suspended.
Apparently frustrated, the students took to the streets, causing heaving traffic at the Giri-Airport Road for hours with placards bearing the inscription: “Adelabu must go.”
The vice chancellor of the university, James Adelabu, addressed the students at the university gate and appealed to them to tread the path of peace.
He said the management was doing its best to ensure that the students were incorporated into other universities that had been accredited.
Adelabu said the current challenges were inherited, adding that admissions into the affected faculties were stopped at the inception of his administration in 2009.
It was learnt that some students who have graduated from the affected faculties and sat for final examinations have since not received results or call up for the mandatory National Youths Service Corps, NYSC, scheme.