Fear Of Expulsion Behind UNICAL Students’ Rampage


P.M.NEWS investigation has revealed that students of the University of Calabar, South- South Nigeria who went on the rampage at the weekend destroying several vehicles, were protesting against plans by the university authorities to expel some of them who could not meet their registration deadline.

The school had also planned to expel over 5,000 students for poor academic performance and other issues.

Professor James Epoke, the Vice Chancellor of the University told P.M.NEWS that thousands of students were simply not able to cope with their academic workload, while several others failed to register to formalise their admission as students of the institution.

He said; “ We resumed since the 14 January, 2011 and examination is about to start and up till this moment, thousands of them are yet to pay their fees or formalise their status as students. Another category of students numbering thousands do not have the basics to pursue the courses or programmes for which they were offered provisional admission.”

According to Professor Epoke, the school was trying to ascertain the number of students in each class since several of them were not registered to know the number of question sheets to print.

“We were about to start the semester examination, and we had to ensure that we had the correct figure in a particular course to enable us print adequate number of question papers.”

The Vice chancellor said in the past, question papers could be printed for “two hundred students and in the examination hall, five hundred persons would show up for the exam. We couldn’t continue like that. This is a university and we have to be exemplary.”

A source at the Registry told PMNEWS this morning that the Data Office was the first target of the rampaging students.

“Because they wanted to erase all the information here for which they have done; you can see everything here has been vandalized.”

According to the source who is a staff of the registry department, “it will be difficult to know which student has paid fess and which has not, and who has been scheduled for expulsion and who is not, we have to start afresh.”

Meanwhile, the Cross River State governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, who visited the school yesterday to ascertain the level of destruction described the August 26 rampage by students as most unfortunate.

While answering questions from newsmen after an on the spot assessment of damaged cars and buildings, Governor Imoke said the students should have opted for dialogue with the school authorities rather than resort to wanton destruction.

The governor said the level of destruction was unquantifiable because the rampaging students did not spare anything.

The Vice Chancellor Office, Unical Micro-Finance Bank, Unical Press, Samuel Imoke Medical Centre, Proposed Senate Building, Unical Pharmacy and Transport Office were torched in the rampage.

—Emma Una/Calabar

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