By Joseph Erunke – Abuja
The Management of the University of Abuja has appealed to all law-abiding students to not partake in disrupting the 2019/2020 Academic Calendar, considering the amount of time lost to the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and COVID-19 pandemic.
The institution said it was putting all necessary measures in place to address issues raised by its students regarding their academic programmes.
The school’s appeal came on the heels of protest by its students on Monday over alleged injustice to them by its authorities.
The students had barricaded the entrance to the university’s permanent site, demanding the opening of the school’s portal, review of the school’s fees as well as allowing students to pay their fees without the imposition of the deadline.
Oladeji Adebolawale, President, Students Union Government, SUG, of the institution, who led the protest explained that “We are here this morning to show our displeasure through a peaceful protest with no violence. For the past four hours that we have been here, there is no form of violence.
“We have our demands, which are reopening of the school portal till the end of the session, no student should be coerced to write to anybody in the school before he or she is allowed to pay school fees and other demands. If these demands are accented to, we will be okay.
“Also, we are here to register our displeasure and to let the Vice-Chancellor know that it is not only the SUG president and his cabinet that are not happy about happenings in the school but that the whole university of Abuja students.”
But in its reaction to the development, the University of Abuja, said it was embarking on all necessary measures aimed at addressing the issues raised by the students.
To this end,it appealed to law-abiding students not to partake in actions that could truncate the ongoing academic session.
In a statement by Dr Habib Yakoob, Head, University Relations, the
The University of Abuja said: “This morning, Monday 1st February 2021, at 7:30 am, some students blocked the Main Gate of the University, preventing other students and staff from gaining access into the campus.
“The students said they were demanding the reopening and extension of school fees payment portal, cancellation of the late registration fee, and postponement of exams till 8th of March 2021.
“The University Management states that following the release of 2019/2020 Academic Calendar by the Senate of the University, the registration of students was to be done in four weeks.
“Following the expiration of this process, the University closed the portal in February 2020 in line with the 2019/2020 Academic Calendar.
“Yet after pleas from the students’ union, the Vice-Chancellor, in his magnanimity, twice directed the reopening, at different times, of the portal to accommodate those who didn’t register on time.
“In the last one week, a couple of meetings were held with the students’ union which again demanded the re-opening of the portal. The University administration held an emergency meeting with the union at 2.00 pm on Sunday 31st January 2021 and considered their appeal.
“Consequently, the portal was reopened on Sunday 31st January 2021 for registration, for another two weeks – till February 14, 2021, and the students were duly informed. Again, the late registration fee for those who had not paid their school fee as well as those who paid but did not register was waived; and the late registration fee of N5, 000 was to be refunded to students who had earlier paid.
“The University Management, is, however, surprised that while so many of our students were excited to be resuming to campus today after ten months at home, they were held back by some elements among students who are protesting the same issue that had already been addressed by the University.
“The University appeals to all law-abiding students to not partake in disrupting the 2019/2020 Academic Calendar, considering the amount of time lost to the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and Covid-19 pandemic; and that it is putting all necessary measures in place to address this unfortunate development. ”