Kogi Poly students protest lack of water, electricity, chase out rector
Students of Kogi State Polytechnic yesterday chased out the rector, Alhaji Isah Mohammed, and the management, in protest against hardships due to lack of electricity, water, poor sanitary condition and non- availability of drugs at the clinic.
The angry students, who occupied the entrance gate, prevented staff from gaining access to their offices, forcing management to close the institution to academic activities.
The students complained also of the danger encountered when crossing the Lokoja-Okene highway and demanded the construction of a pedestrian bridge to save their lives, as many had died while crossing the road in recent times.
The deteriorating situation had forced female students to resorted to going into the nearby bush to ease themselves, with all the attendant dangers
A Higher National Diploma (HND) student, Hajara Usman, lamented: “Sometimes, snakes chase us from the bush. The toilets in the hostel are not in good shape.
“We need good toilet facilities and water. The hostels are infested by mosquitoes because the environment is filled with grasses.”
Another student, Omale Isah, said they were forced to embark on the peaceful protest because their complaints to the management on the issues fell on deaf ears.
Isah said students usually go to the bush for open defecation whenever they are pressed, adding that some of them had been bitten by snakes in the process.
He lamented that necessary hostel and lecture facilities needed for conducive teaching and learning were not provided, adding: “A student in our department slumped yesterday (Thursday) and could not get medical attention at the school clinic because of lack of drugs.
“She was rushed to a private clinic in town where she was confirmed dead.
“We pay school fees, but we don’t have light, no toilet facilities and no power supply. If you enter the campus, everywhere is smelling, because students are forced to defecate in the open”, he said.
The state Commissioner for Education, Mr. Sunday Tolorunleke, said he was on top of the situation and he has been making frantic efforts to address the students’ immediate needs.
He said: “The students are not violent; they are only asking and demanding for their right.
“I went there for on the spot assessment and discovered there are no toilets and with their huge population, you can imagine what they are going through.”
In the interim, Tolorunleke said he has approach the electricity distribution company, which has started fixing the power situation, adding that the state water works has been contacted to bring water tankers to meet the students’ immediate needs.