The Vice Chancellor, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, MOUAU Prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe has said that the policy of not allowing students to sit for semester examinations without paying their complete charges is not peculiar to the institution.
The Vice Chancellor, who was flanked by the DVC Administration, Prof. Franca Asawalam, University Registrar, Dr. Mrs Nkeiruka Mbanaso’s representative, Bursar, High Chief Ugochukwu Ironkwe, DVC Academic, Prof. Udo Herbert among other Management staff, stated this during a press conference at the university.
He also explained that contrary to some reports, the management did not increase charges by 60 percent, which allegedly led to the students riot, dismissing the reports as false.
Professor Iwe who said it was not imaginable that students of the university could have been responsible for the quantum of havoc wreaked during the riot, disclosed that the school management was still taking stock of facilities destroyed by miscreants during students’ riot on Tuesday.
He said that the university receives only N9 million as monthly overhead while its monthly running cost is N100 million, and explained further that the university needed funds to remain afloat, hence the decision of management to insist that every student must pay complete charge before taking exam.
The VC who insisted that the havoc was wreaked by miscreants who hijacked the protest, however, warned that “students will have themselves to blame for allowing themselves to be used as cover” by those behind the ‘riot’.
Moreover, he refuted media reports that he was manhandled by students during the protest, explaining that it was his security details that dragged him back to his vehicle to avoid attack by the rioters.
“We have toured the campus this morning and seen things for ourselves. Students would not have been stupid to burn their lecture theater and library; attempted looting a bank on campus; looting laboratories, shattering glasses of all buildings.
” These actions, I’m sure were performed by miscreants who forced the students to join them”.
Furthermore, Prof. Iwe said that Management had been making spirited efforts to provide “good environment and facilities for the students” despite paucity of fund.
On the way forward, the MOUAU VC said that the University Senate would meet on Thursday to take a decision of what to do next.