* By Chukwuemerie Uduchukwu
Current tension in Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka (UNIZIK) over a letter dated 4th May 2015 that was written to the university's vice chancellor Prof. Joseph Eberendu Ahaneku by the Students' leader Noble Eyisi appears to be on the increase as Comrade Eyisi alleged some acts of intimidation and harasment from the university authorities. The students' leader who is currently a political science undergraduate in the university, also declared his readiness for the worst from the university over his alleged failure to sign a document offered to him Tuesday night.
It is recalled that when Mr. Ahaneku assumed office as the Vice Chancellor, a new policy that demanded what was known as Biometric capturing fee of N7,500 from each of the newly admitted students was implemented. Also, an increment of N1000 in the costs of Post UTME forms was implemented forcing the prospective candidates to pay N2,000 instead of the initial N1000. Worried by these and other policies of the university, the students' leader Noble Eyisi wrote a letter to Mr. Ahaneku for some explanations.
According to Mr. Eyisi, the vice chancellor should explain what the university did with the total sum of N45,000, 000 generated from the 6000 students admitted in the 2014/2015 academic session through the 'Biometric Capturing Fees that forces each of the new students to pay N7, 500 each.
Mr. Eyisi also asked the vice chancellor to explain the status of students' account sustained annually through union fees that are captured in the school fees. He lamented that despite the fact that the account belongs to students, the Union does not have access to it. He also wondered why the university authorities frustrated the efforts of the union to compel the food vendors within the university to reduce cost of their charges to N150 per plate since a bag of rice has since been reduced to N8000.
Mr. Eyisi further reminded the Vice Chancellor that the university is a public institution and urged him to always execute policies in a transparent manner in line with the spirit of change that is currently trending in the country as the incoming administration of Nigeria's president-elect Muhammadu Buhari has severally vowed not to tolerate any atom of corruption in the country.
Moreover, the students' leader on Wednesday May 13 2015 alleged further harassment on him and his staff by the university authorities. He made the allegation through a post on his Facebook timeline.
According to Mr Eyisi, he was called upon in the weak hours of Tuesday night by the Vice Chancellor and his people to sign a document but he refused to apend his signature and declared that he is waiting for the worst to happen.
Mr. Eyisi alleged that the letter was released in the morning of Tuesday 12th May 2015 to all Unizik Students as it was Copied to them originally, but then an order from above was given to raide all class rooms and seize the document from public knowledge. He futher alleged that the SUG President's Rooms were raided and turned up side down and that the SUG Bus was empounded and ransacked
Mr. Eyisi further stated that the Privacy and Security of Unizik SUG PRESIDENT has been breached and that an order for the arrest of some key SUG Officials has been given. According to him, around 9pm Tuesday, the President's aides were ambushed intimidated/bullied by the men of the Anti Cult and their phones were seized.
He finally declared that students of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka are definitely worth the struggle and promised not abandon them or sell them out.
Meanwhile, the Director, Directorate of Information and Public Relations of the university Dr. Emmanuel Ojukwu in a text message Tuesday night, informed me that he will release the university's stand over the issue today. However, as at 3:00 PM Thursday , no reaction has been received from the Information and Public Relations Directorate of the university.