UMUDIKE, ABIA STATE – After a protest by students at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike turned into a riot, some staff members have shared their harrowing experiences. The students were reportedly demonstrating against a tuition increase, but the university management claims that the protest was hijacked by troublemakers.
According to some staff members, they had to escape through a bush path behind the school to avoid being attacked by the angry crowd of students. One staff member, Igwe Azubuike Chizoba, and a lecturer, Mrs. Ngozi Olundu, recounted how they had to flee their offices to seek safety in the nearby community.
The university’s Public Relations Officer, Patrick Opara, revealed that he had to be evacuated from the school premises as “miscreants” were causing destruction. The aftermath of the riot left the school environment littered with debris of destroyed property, including the largest examination hall, the road median, the Students Union Government (SUG) office, electric poles, school chairs, library building, school field, part of the Access bank building, and school vehicles.
Stern-looking policemen were positioned in various areas of the university, indicating a heightened security presence in response to the riot. Despite the damage caused by the students, the university management insists that the perpetrators were not genuine students but rather “miscreants” disrupting the peaceful examination process.
The extent of the destruction is still being assessed by the university, leaving the campus community in shock and disbelief. It remains unclear how the university plans to address the grievances of the protesting students and restore normalcy to the campus.