Professor Benjamin Ozumba Has Taken Away The Dignity Of Men.

By Oyibo Ediri

What is as wicked and mundane and educationally degrading and morally annoying and inhumane and insensitive as suspending the school of postgraduate studies of an institution of higher learning as the prestigious University of Nigeria?

Would Prof. B. Ozumba just sit in his office to increase postgraduate fees from N69,000.00 to N145,000.00 and expect no reactions? Is he that numb? Would he just be in the comfort of his abode and order the eviction of students from their hostel after they had a two-day peaceful protest to express their dissatisfaction over the hike of their school fees? What does it mean to restore the dignity of man? Prof. B. Ozumba is about to switch off the dignity of men. He should be contained, cautioned and cultured.

The postgraduate students of the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) have been forcefully evicted from their hostels by the University authority and are hereby calling for external intervention into this appalling and thoughtless action. The grand Odili hostel stands towering above other buildings that may be in sight in the University premises. It is the accommodation complex of the postgraduate students of the citadel of learning known for its motto 'Restoring the Dignity of Man'. What dignity is left to be restored? Who will restore this dignity? Professor Benjamin Ozumba?

The current state of affairs at the UNN hardly ever paints a picture of man having any dignity at all let alone one that will be restored. Prof. Ozumba has made life difficult for learning and for living in the institution. One of the postgraduate students, Mr. Okolo-obi Bosco narrated the ordeal postgraduate students of the school have been passing through since they have been evicted.

Since the school authority has placed the hostel under lock and key, postgraduate students have no place to stay, with belongings scattered all over the places, postgraduate students of all people now sleep outside, with the harsh weather condition of Nsukka and the scorpions and reptiles in the premises. They carry out their toilet activities in the open. The hostel corridor has become kitchen and academic activities also take place in the open. What can be more inhuman and degrading than this? What more dignity is Prof. B. Ozumba or any other VC that is needed to take over him is to restore? Considering the fact that women are among the sufferers of this barbaric act, the actions of Prof. B. Ozumba becomes more dehumanizing.

Michael Nwankwo, another postgraduate student, said that they are not naive and that they know what they want even with the austerity measures. “We are well informed and our protest over the hike in fees is not just for protest sake” he said. The students said they would never renege if the event failed to end in their favour.

While the stranded postgraduate students of UNN roll their complaints against the vice chancellor, the consequences of the inhumane condition which they are subjected to abound.

They are, therefore, appealling to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene in this act of barbarism. Professor Benjamin Ozumba should call back the students into their hostel, call back the postgraduate programmes of the school to continue and then, revert to the old fee.

The act of unnecessary fee increase in Nigerian schools must stop. This act of barbarism must stop!

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