Reparations for January’s riots have been announced. All returning students except those in the Enugu and Aba campus, along with final year faculty of engineering students (who were away on Industrial Training during the riots), are to pay a reparation fee of N8000 before being allowed to register for the new session or, in the case of the just graduated students: being allowed to be cleared for NYSC.
Everyone expected this. Who was supposed to pay for the damages? It can be argued that fining 20000 students N8000 will more than cover the damage done in the riots. There were rumours that Dr. Sullivan Chime governor of Enugu state had agreed to take care of the damages (with state funds?) as means of getting support for next years elections.
It is good though to see this matter resolved quickly and not leading to a protracted break as many feared. One can say that students were victorious as school fees, whose rumoured increase was the cause of the riots, have not been increased. If any the whole issue has show how uncommunicative the Vice chancellor has been. Even till now he hardly is around operating from Enugu. He did not even attend the freshmen orientation programme. This only give credibility to the opinion among many that Prof. Barth Okolo is out of touch with what is happening in the university.
And there’s the continued presence of the military and police on campus ( a friend of mine comment that it is not as bad though as in UNIPORT which is close to the militant rehabilitation camp!) and the continued ban on association meetings. Yes some students acted badly but this is surely not the way to treat all of them.
The session has begun and hopeful the plan to end by December will be met. The VC still has his blueprint to transform UNN but his supporters are few and he has to take that into consideration.