By NBF News

The Academic Staff Union of the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Owerri yesterday called on the management of the institution to set up a panel of inquiry to unravel the cause of Wednesday's students violent protest that allegedly cost two lives and massive destruction of property.

The panel, if set up, the union observed, would also investigate the alleged external influences and determine the extent of damage, to restore peace and stability in the institution.

The union, which condemned the Wednesday violent protest by the students of the institution over alleged increase in tuition fees by the management of the college, said the wanton destruction of property and disruption of stable academic calendar was unwarranted.

It dismissed the rumours of increase in tuition fees, arguing that increase in fees was done at the commencement of new session, adding that the school was in the middle of the semester of the 2010/2011 sessions.

In a press release by signed by Chairman of the union, Anderson Ezeibe alleged that the riot was induced by external forces and cult groups as shown by the brazen display of guns and other dangerous weapons by the rioters.

He further alleged that persistent attempts by politicians to influence the students union election scheduled to hold on July 29, 2011 masterminded the rampage.

The union chairman also condemned the late arrival of police from the state command on the scene of the crisis.

He said: 'The late arrival of the police of the scene paved way for unhindered vandalization and looting of academic staff offices, vehicles, the medical centres and even the students union secretariat which was torched.'

The union, therefore, commended the management of the institution for the closure of the school as the environment was unfit for any academic activities.

Ezeibe noted that the reported loss of two lives during the rampage was unfortunate and regrettable.