Students of the University of Abuja have clashed with the office of the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed as they barricaded the entrance and exit gates to the Minister’s office for over two hours.
This was even as the representative of the minister, Nosike Ogbuenyi described the students action as lawless, advising them to desist from lawless acts like blocking of gates,
The protesting students, led by the Chairman of the University of Abuja Chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Friday Adayi, today, laid siege to the FCT Administration Secretariat between 12 and 2 Pm, insisting that the government must purchase a vehicle for their association immediately to enable them attend their various conventions.
They also demanded for development of University of Abuja’s Unity Park and an immediate end to the water supply challenges at the university’s mini campus.
“The FCT Administration should also furnish the common room of the NANS Chairman,” the students stated.
Selected leaders of the students later met with FCT officials led by the FCT Education Secretary, Alhaji Kabir Usman who promised to look into their demands: “despite the obvious fact that most of them were either untenable or should have been pursued through the Federal Ministry of Education which administers the University of Abuja.”
The Secretary announced that the request by the students for a vehicle was receiving attention and would be granted if funds become available.
However, the Special Assistant on media to the FCT minister, Nosike Ogbuenyi condemned the action of the students, particularly the disruption of activities at the secretariat and their attempt to compel the government to fulfill their requests, which he said were not statutory responsibilities of the FCTA.
“The point should be stressed that it is not part of FCTA’s official responsibility to furnish the NANS Chairman’s common room at the University of Abuja or to provide internal infrastructure in Federal universities. Similarly, government action on the kind of demands made by the students is discretionary and dependent on resource availability.
“Nonetheless, the FCTA cherishes robust relationship with NANS even though it frowns at any attempt to hold it to ransom by students over welfare and logistics demands by individuals or groups.”
Ogbuenyi said that the FCT Administration, through its Water Board, has provided potable and wholesome water to the residents of the Federal Capital Territory including Gwagwalada through the recently commissioned Lower Usuma Dam Phases III & IV Water Treatment Plants and that therefore, it is the duty of individuals, institutions and corporate organizations to undertake water reticulation in their areas of abode.