Headline Local News

Students protest exam postponement in Plateau

Students of the Plateau State Polytechnic staged a peaceful protest over the failure of the commencement of second-semester examinations. 

The students blocked the Yakubu Gowon way in Jos, the Plateau state capital said they met empty offices upon arrival. 

The students carried placards bearing different inscriptions which expressed their displeasure over the development.

They said no reason was given to them for the non-commencement of their examinations. 

According to them, a strike by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP may have been responsible.

They also noted that they now have to repay accommodation fees due to incessant changes in the school calendar.

Our timetable was out last week,  we came in today but met no staff to attend to us.’

‘ We have been in a session for about three years and, we have had to bare more cost that the regular charges due to the irregularity in our school calendar.

Students Protesting along the Yakubu Gowon way, Jos

A heavy presence of security personnel comprising, Police and the operation safe Haven were on hand to maintain law and order a  situation that further enraged the students who felt that their rights were being trampled upon.

However, security agents were seen engaging the students in dialogue to further douse the tension. 

engaging stakeholders

In an interview, the spokesperson of the state polytechnic, Mr Mathew Dokotri explained that management was engaging stakeholders.

The challenge is between the academic staff and the state government,  but the institution has been trying to engage stakeholders to see that examinations and other academic activities continue”

The chairman of ASUP in the school, Lumpye simji said the failure of the government to heed to its demands led to the strike.

Dokotiri said the Union narrowed down the issues to three;  the first is the reconsolidation of salaries, so gratuities would be better managed.”

They also have the non-remittance of our cooperative and union dues despite deductions and the enrolment into the state healthcare contributory scheme “

He further explained that the strike had long been planned with different notices given, yet no response from the government.

”The strike is not limited to the polytechnic but across all state-owned tertiary institutions.” Simji added

Operation Safe Haven

Meanwhile, the special task force in Plateau state, code-named Operation Safe Haven has denied shooting at the protesting students. 

According to Its spokesman, Major Ishaku Takwa, the men were there to only ensure that the protest does not escalate. 

the fragile security situation in Jos can not accommodate any form of protest. The STF has been working to ensure peace is returned to the state.

Major Takwa said they were notified by the Police about the blockage. 

He denied the shooting of students saying they only went there to restore order. 

A visit to the Plateau state specialist hospital showed that some students were receiving treatment for effects of tear gas.

Some also had injuries from stamped.

Reporting by Gwamkat Gamzhi; editing by Tina Oyinsan