By Adamu Ibraheem Jimeta
There was pandemonium at the main entrance of the Federal College of Education, Yola, on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, when students blocked the college entrance protesting a two-week total blackout of electricity and water supplies in the college.
The protest, which started as early as 7 am, grounded academic activities as students and lecturers were denied access to the college.
According to the protesters, they have opted for the protest as their last resort as all pleas to the management to intervene in the incessant problems of water and electricity supplies fall on deaf ears.
Speaking to our correspondent, a level 300 Education/English student who prefers anonymity told The Daily Reality that for over a week, there was no water nor electricity in the college. He said, “Living in the hostel with no water and light, lecture theatre with no electricity supplies for over weeks have been excruciating.”
He said the Students’ Union Government (SUG) has not lived to the expectations and welfare of the students. He called on the management to take drastic measures that would bring these problems to an end.
Responding to the accusation by the students, the SUG President, Comrade Sulaiman Abdullahi, told our reporter that his administration has been running around over the problem. “We have had a meeting with the Acting Provost, and he has assured us that the management will fix the problem. Even yesterday, I spoke with the provost on phone, and he said he has arranged a tanker that will start supplying the college effective from today, Tuesday. Therefore is not true that we have not done anything about it,” said the SUG president.
All efforts to speak with the Registrar of the college, Malam Gidado Ahmed, proved abortive during filing this report. He earlier told The Daily Reality he was in a meeting and promised to get back to us but, he didn’t reply to the messages and calls put to him by the reporter before going to press.
It took the intervention of a joint task force of soldiers, mobile police and men of NSCDC when the protest escalated to burning tires within the school premises. The JTF fired gunshots in the air and dispersed the protesters.
In a related development, the management of the Federal College of Education, Yola, has announced the closure of the college. In a circular signed by the Registrar, Ahmed, it was stated that after its emergency meeting on October 26, 2021, the management has reviewed the situation on the ground and resolved to close the college immediately.
Students are given up to 10 am to vacate the campus, the circular added.