University of Port Harcourt( UNIPORT) students protest power outage, poor water supply

Female students residing in the four blocks of the King Jaja Hostel on the Delta Campus of the University of Port Harcourt, (UNIPORT) last week  protested the power outage  and  poor water supply caused by the strike embarked upon by non-teaching staff of the institution.

Members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) at the university had embarked on an industrial action following the refusal of the government to accede  to their demands.

The female students were seen in front of their hostels chanting: “Give us light, we want light,” among other slogans. A male student who  didn’t want to be named  tried in vain to appease the aggrieved students.

Some female students leaving for classes said they struggled to get  water to bathe.

Narrating what happened, a female student who  spoke on condition of anonymity, said the protesters took their complaints to the generator house located within the Delta campus, before proceeding to the Vice-Chancellor’s lodge, where  they were chased back. She also said before then, they  had looked for water at the ASUU Secretariat.

Another student who simply identified herself as a final year student said protest started from Block A.

“The girls started from Block A, to Block B, C and D to mobilise others for the protest. They moved around Delta Campus, then to the VC’s lodge and then to the lecturers’ quarters. All of a sudden, people started running when some security officers chased them.

“After a while, the SUG President came to address the girls. He actually rented a generator that was used to pump water,” she said.

She also said  the protesting students wanted to break the padlock used to seal the entrance to the generator station before the SUG President intervened. “The girls actually wanted to break the key used to lock the generator place. The SUG  President then appealed for calm and promised to get the keys to the generator room. We heard the fuse was removed, that’s why there has been a power outage,” she said.

However, the  SUG President, Comrade Sowari Dikibo brought in  a generator to pump water for the studentsWhen approached by our correspondent, he refused to speak.

On her part, the Vice President, Gloria Okoye, also refused to speak, citing the president’s refusal as her reason.

Efforts to speak to the Public Relations Officer of the institution, Mr. Sam Kpenu, were futile. His phone was switched off.

SOURCE: THE NATION NEWS PAPER

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