FUTO crisis: Senate to investigate students’ unrest

AUTHORITIES of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, has instituted a seven-man panel of inquiry to ascertain the immediate and remote causes of the recent students’ unrest, which led to destruction of vital installations in the institution and subsequent closure of the school.

The Vice Chancellor, Professor Francis Eze, who disclosed this to newsmen in his office, stressed that the students’ planned uprising, which caught the Senate unawares, ran counter to an earlier mutual agreement between the university and the leadership of the Students’ Union Government.

Eze, a Professor of Physics, recalled that the university Senate had in consultation with the SUG, agreed on a fee of N7,000 per student for the Information Communication Technology.

He also recalled that a plan to ban commercial motorcycles operation within the campus and to substitute same with bus shuttle services at a token fee was rejected by the students and consequently discarded.

“There is very strong indication that the demonstration was planned and executed from outside the mainstream of the students’ body and without the perpetrators employing various legitimate avenues of drawing attention of the university authority to any perceived grievance,” he said.

Eze, who did not quantify the monetary value of the items destroyed and looted by the students, however insisted that no part of the campus was spared in the violent demonstration, including computers, the ICT building and other gadgets.

The vice chancellor, who is just seven months old in office as the seventh substantive VC of the university, attributed the magnitude of the havoc wreaked by the students to the porous nature of the campus, which currently is without a fence.

He however, insisted that the institution still remained one of the best in the country with adequate manpower and academic excellence.

He said the senate had taken steps to inject discipline and sanity among lecturers of the school, stating that those found guilty of any form of offence would be brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others.