NANS criticises MOUAU management over alleged hard exam conditions

GodGift Ifunanya
4 Min Read

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has expressed concern over Tuesday’s students’ unrest at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU) in Abia.

Reacting to the incident at an interactive session with newsmen in Enugu on Wednesday, the NANS President, Mr Pedro Obi, took a swipe at the Management of MOUAU for allegedly imposing hard conditions on students during their first semester examinations.

Obi was reacting to the reported “no registration no examination” policy of the university, which allegedly led to students’ violent protest on campus and eventual closure of the university by the management.

He said: “It has come to our attention that students are being denied the opportunity to write their examinations unless they have made full payment of their school fees.

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“This action by the university management is very unfair, especially considering the current economic situation in Nigeria.

“We are deeply concerned that this approach will lead to a significant number of dropouts, negatively affecting the lives and education of our students, thereby leading to more security challenges in the country.

“The National Secretariat of NANS firmly believes that education should be accessible to all, regardless of their financial background.

“We urge the university management to kindly consider alternative ways of addressing the issue of school fees payment.

“Such approach could be by splitting the payment into manageable installments per semester, rather than expecting a one-time payment,” Obi said.

He also said that the association had consequently set up a five-member committee “to swiftly intervene and bring the situation under control”.

He said that membership of the committee included Cokey Nwachukwu (Chairman), with Josephine Ikpe-Abasi, Felix Ifeyinwa and Orji Frank as members, while Chijioke Emmanuel (MOUAU SUG President ) is to serve as Secretary.

Obi said that the committee would engage in constructive dialogue with the university management to find a resolution that ensures that the rights and wellbeing of the students were protected.

He said: “NANS National Secretariat calls on the Management of MOUAU to immediately halt this unfair practice and work towards a more student-friendly approach to payment of school fees.

“Education should not be a privilege reserved for a select few but a fundamental right accessible to all.

“We implore the university management to prioritise the welfare of the students and cooperate fully with the committee set up by NANS National Secretariat.”

He, however, said that the association “condemns in totality, the destruction of school or government’s property as genuine students should not be found engaging themselves in such act”.

According to him, such violent act jeopardises our genuine and well intended struggle for an egalitarian society.

“We urge all the MOUAU students to remain calm and patient as the committee works tirelessly to resolve this issue.

“Having cried out, your voices have been heard and we are committed to fighting for your rights,” the NANS president said.

Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Maduebibisi Iwe, has reacted to the students protest, saying that the implementation of “no registration no examination” was not a new policy.

Speaking at a news briefing in the university on Wednesday, Iwe said that the policy had been in place in the institution and “all normal universities across the world”.

“University is not a place where people can acquire education on credit.

“The point is that it is either you have the money to pay and be trained or you stay away,” he said.

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