Professor Anthony Owan Enoh may not have another experience as the Vice Chancellor of Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) before he vacate the office, as such that brought him out of his car on Tuesday the 9th of April 2019 and cause him a trek from outside the school gate into the school premises.
As of 8am on Tuesday morning, the greenish and calm CRUTECH was just waking up from a long silent night into a chilled day, as activities and lectures kick started especially in the general lecture halls (ETF 1 and 2 and PREFAB 1 and 2) where mostly general courses are taken and area termed to be the most busiest place in the varsity.
Unpredictably, the sudden but not strange happened. The calm CRUTECH metamorphosed into a clamouring and gyrating scene, where exhibitions on placards, displays and chanting became the dominating language in Calabar Campus among the “Aluta warriors” who many where chanting vehemently with guilt among those that had cleared their guilts on the altar of school fees payment.
Heating it more, the Campus power supply that distributes light to the VC office and the whole school and even that of Management Information System (MIS) were totally put off by the demonstrating students halting down activities as they will always barricade the school gate.
However, the “peaceful protest” was muse by students from the department of Architecture joined by Mass Communication, Urban and Regional Planning, Environmental Science and Estate Management who were seeking for redress and quick action on the issues that pose challenges to their learning especially basic amenities.
Subsequently, some of the pressing issues outlined included; light in the departments, poor classroom facilities, lack of practicals, school toilet, and poor studio equipments to carryout assignments.
Penultimately, these demands were exact of what was presented before the students friendly VC who always conciliate students by claiming to know their plights in a protest spearheaded by students from Faculty of Engineering last semester who are now enjoying light and some demands complaint for in their various departments and workshops.
Now it was the turn for other departments to make their needs known using same method to bid for drastic effect, what may be describe as “parity quest”.
To this discuss, CRUTECH Boss must have seen this protest looming since school resumed and maybe couldn’t just act on time or lack the financial capability to address this more amicably, leaving it to escalate into a protest he has to mop alongside as he prepare the baton for whoever will succeed him. Meanwhile students may have also seen it on the other hand as a neglect and denial to their academic right, taking this act even though claimed to have written earnestly to the CRUTECH Boss whom they may not meet again after this ongoing “two weeks break” in the varsity.
It is compelling to stress that this is not the first time a protest is staged, it’s becoming a fast growing adopted “Blazer Republic” tradition. It has happened and happened and will still happen if proper steps and measures to abrogate this academic menace are not taken seriously.
Unarguably, protest before action or development is carried out seems to be uncivilized. It should be the last action on the side of students after negotiable means are exhausted and Management most act on time and respond to the needs to avoid rancor and ballyhoo.
Finally, it will be necessary to drop it at this point that both the State Government, management and students including parents have a part to play in stabilizing our academic sector (Our State owned University) and abating continuous protest in our institutions of higher learning. Must it always be a protest before needs are met?
Ololo Kelvin is a student of Mass Communication, Cross River University Of Technology, writes from Calabar and a CrossRiverWatch Reporter.
NOTE: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Ololo Kelvin, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.
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