UNIPORT students demand sacking of VC

University-Of-PortharcourtStudents, police disagree over whereabouts of slain student corpse
Angry students of the University of Port Harcourt yesterday called for the immediate removal of their Vice Chancellor, Prof Ndowa Lale, over what they described as his poor response to the incident that claimed the lives of their colleagues.

The students, who pleaded anonymity, told The Guardian at the school premises that the VC’s attitude to the students protest contributed to fueling the crisis.

Meanwhile the Student Union Government of the university has accused the police of seizing the corpse of the slain student, Peter Ofurum, who until his death was the President of Faculty of Management Science Students Association.

But the police have denied it, saying, it had deposited the remains of the student in an undisclosed morgue.The students’ union President Ephraim Animeje, yesterday claimed that after shooting the deceased, the police snatched his corpse from fellow students, who were on their way to some media houses in Port Harcourt.

Animeje explained that in a bid to snatch the corpse of the deceased final year student, who was shot three times in the chest, the policemen shot tear gas and live bullets at students and inflicted injuries on some of them.According to the students, the VC’s poor handling of the matter escalated the crisis.

Meanwhile, the embattled VC has alleged that the students’ protest was orchestrated for his sacking.He said this on Tuesday when the Deputy Commissioner of Police, in charge of Administration, in the state, Mobolaji Odesanya, visited the school premises to ascertain the level of damage caused by the crisis.

Prof Lale further alleged that, “Some of the protesters are in touch with some other people, who for whatever reasons want me, the VC, out of office.”

While expressing regret over the death of one of the students, Lale said the protest had nothing to do with hike in tuition, but that students who wanted to be certified without sitting for any examinations masterminded the act.

“As a university, we sincerely regret and mourn with the family of the deceased. I hear a student died in some circumstances that are not very clear to me. I regret it so much that such happened,” the VC said.

“I have just stayed nine months, during this period, I have not contemplated or dreamt of increasing any payment by kobo. The students know it, but because they want to score cheap points, they are misleading the public.

After visiting some of the damaged facilities, Odesanya assured that security would be beefed up at the institution until normalcy returns.

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