By Our Reporter
Female Students of the University of Cross River State, Calabar Campus today protested against frequent robbery attacks on hostels.
According to an eye witness who was at the school premises at the time of the event, said the protest which started around 7.30am was led by female students, from the different halls in the hostel, before they were joined by others, part of their demands among other things were that the Vice Chancellor and the school Management address their plight, especially the incessant robbery attacks as reports of frequent attacks have continued unabated despite assurances of adequate protection from the school management, stressing that girls should be safe on campus rather than being scared.
Our reporter, who was at the campus at the time of the incident, reported that the protesters refused to listen to all plea by the School Administrators led by DVC Academics, Prof. Mrs Joy Etiowo, to allow access to campus as all entrance were blocked. The protesters who had taken over the main entrance of the school insisted that no one, including security personnel would be allowed to either enter the campus or leave.
The presence of the Students Union Government Executives, led by the President, Sen. James Otu still did not appease protesters.
Our reporter also said that the protesting students defied all plea by men of the Nigerian Army and the Anti Kidnapping/Cultism unit of the Nigerian police who arrived about 1 hour into the protest, fell on deaf ears.
"At some point, some of the students ran back to their hostels and returned with stove, pots, plates and other items were they cooked and ate right Infront of the school, an indication that they were not willing to leave untill their demands were met" our source said.
However, an emergency congress was converged and finally the protesters conceded to allow access.
Some of the students who spoke with our reporter but wanted to remain anonymous, said that each time there was a robbery attack on students, the management would continue to make promises without taking action, and that all they wanted was action and not promises again.
But a quick glance into the University students handbook, indicate that the protesting students went against laid down rules of the University which states that “Demonstrations are not permitted," Rather students are advised to dialogue over their grievances with the Students Union Government; Student Affairs Officer; Dean of Student Affairs. (Chapter Two, Page 14).
The handbook also advised students to put such grievances in writing to the Vice Chancellor if they are not satisfied, and then to the Pro-Chancellor, if need be.
It adds, "where any demonstration must occur, it must be peaceful and confined within the campus and led by the SUG and must have the approval of the Dean of Student Affairs.”
Meanwhile, as at the time of filing this report, there was no official statement from the school management.