Recently, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt passed a decree that students who have not paid their school fees of the first semester for the 2015/2016 session should not be allowed to partake in the first semester exams. He ordered that the school fees portal be closed and went ahead and sent the following messages to parents and guardians, “Please the 2015/2016 First Semester Exams for Full-time Undergraduate Students will start on Monday, 11th April, 2016, as scheduled on the Academic Calendar. Some students not duly registered for the 2015/2016 session are planning to disrupt exams. Please advise your ward not to join them, rather duly registered students should prepare and take their exams as scheduled. Thank you.”.
Today being the 11th of April, at about 6:00 am, some students began a protest. They knew there wouldn’t be hope for them to write the exams so they took it upon themselves to disrupt exams. First they started by putting up writings that the school fees should be reduced else Lale the Vice Chancellor should drop.
While all these protests were going on in the Campuses, Abuja and Choba precisely students, even those who were to write exams today were not allowed to enter the school premises and someone (name withheld) went on air threatening the students that they should all stop or they would all be shot dead by the Uniport sniper. Students being hard headed refused to stop but rather became more violent as they waited for the sniper, thereby causing damages on roads leading into the school and in the Campus.
After so much chaos, the Vice Chancellor called up the Police and Special Anti Robbery Squad to take control of the matter and he ordered that they shoot at any student caught in a violent act. These men began to shoot tear gas at people and threatening then with guns. The funny thing is that bullets were not being shot in the air but at the students. While all these were going on, a policeman had a little argument with a student and as he was about threatening the student with the gun, he mistakenly shot at him. It was then they got to know that the student who had been shot is the serving President of the school’s Faculty of Management Science Student Association (FAMASSA) in person of Ofurum Peter, a final year student of the department of Accounting.
Some other were shot and many injured. The Special Anti Robbery Squad men took of with the body of one girl. While some students were carrying the body of the boy who was shot to various radio stations, the Special Anti Robbery Squad people blocked them and carried the body from them beating most of them and shooting one but the students were glad that at least the news had been aired.
Due to all these happenings and damages caused in school, the registrar of the University of Port Harcourt has passed a letter about the shutting down of the school:
UNIVERSITY OF PORT HARCOURT
Date: 11th April, 2016 To: All Students
(Undergraduate and Graduate Students)
CLOSURE OF THE UNIVERSITY
The University Senate at its 418th Meeting (Emergency) held on Monday, 11th April, 2016, deliberated extensively on the violent demonstration by the students and the resultant disruption of the First Semester Examinations of the 2015/2016 Session.
Senate therefore resolved to close down the University with immediate effect. To this end, all students are to vacate the University campus immediately. No student is expected to be found in the University premises beyond 6.00pm today, Monday, 11th April, 2016.
Mrs. Dorcas D. Otto.
The University of Port Harcourt has been shut down till further notice.