Why we demonstrated – ASCETA students

Prof. Nnennaya Kanno

That students of Abia State College of Education (Technical) Arochukwu (ASCETA) staged a peaceful demonstration on July 6, 2015 is no longer news. What is news, however, is why the students demonstrated in the first place.

According to a student who spoke to Aro News at the college premises the next day, a female student screamed the previous night and her screaming awoke all other students around her and in other hostels. The concerned student lamented that she saw what could be described as an apparition and was nearly suffocating and fainting, so she needed fresh air to survive. But that was not to be. That was because there was no electricity supply to power the fans in the hostel.

When the students were awoken by the noise, they reportedly ran in different directions, some into a nearby field while others fled into the bush regardless of the danger still to their lives.

Notwithstanding the above scenario, another student who spoke to Aro News said there was acute water supply shortage in the college, which made it impossible to flush their toilets.  Yet the female students alleged that they were often intimidated and sexually harassed by some male lecturers on campus. Besides, a female student also alleged, “we are compelled by the lecturers to pay all sorts of levies and charges.”

They include but not limited to matriculation and identity cards. Another female student complained about the condition of the road leading to the campus from Nkwunabo junction. She said that the road has been cut off by erosion.

For the students, the college authority should have been carrying out some palliative works on the road to enable motorists pass, even pedestrians and motorcyclists that find it very difficult to ply the road – instead of waiting indefinitely for the Federal or state government to fix the road.

For the above reasons, the students poured into the streets that Monday and demonstrated through the Arochukwu-Ohafia road, up to Amuvi, protesting the dirty environment, lack of water supply, lack of electricity supply, non-issuance of ID cards, no matriculation ceremony and general poor condition of the college.

When efforts were made by the reporter to speak to the Provost, Public Relations Officer or any other principal officer of the college, the secretary to the provost, one Mazi ‘Omu Aro’ said none of them was available to speak on the demonstration.

He promised to convey their reactions to Aro News reporter later, but never did up until press time.

About author

Ogbonnaya Akoma

Public health practitioner/public affairs commentator
Trans-Amadi Layout, Port Harcourt, Rivers State

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