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Students lament ill-treatment by varsity officials

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The ill-treatment meted out to students by university officials is gradually becoming a trend in the country’s tertiary institutions. No judgement is ever made in favour of the students even when it is obvious the university official has erred.

There had been several cases where students were harassed by university workers and were afterwards blamed and punished for demanding their rights.

The most recent case was an incident that broke out at Fountain University, Osun State. There was an altercation between a 300-level student of the school and a lecturer. The lecturer thereafter asked the students to go and cut grasses and upon refusal; he pounced and injured him.

However, the school management’s judgement was in favour of the lecturer, as he was only demoted while the student was rusticated.

Issues like this have continued to linger and the school’s management seeks to protect its reputation at the expense of the students. Actions that follow such reports are judgements made without fairness and “feel-good” speeches from the university’s spokesperson when in reality students are punished behind the scenes.

An alumnus of the University of Benin, who pleaded anonymity, narrated her ordeal in the hands of the university’s security officials while she was yet a student of the school.

She said: “We were returning from a vigil at about 5:45 pm on a Saturday morning which was a 30minutes drive away from our school. The security men refused us from entering the premises not because we had no form of identity but on counts of chastity.”

Students of the school also complained about the attitude of their hostel porters who harass them on irrelevant issues. Some of them judge matters based on  “how much you have to offer.” As long as a student is well to do, he/she automatically wins every case.

Also as seen in the case of a student of University of Ilorin, who was wrongly accused of stealing and was suspended without proper investigation. Thereafter, it was discovered that she was innocent.
The victim said: “When I eventually returned to school, I was found not guilty and the porter said, ‘things like this happen,’ instead of admitting that she was wrong and at fault.”

At Anchor University, a couple of students were suspended for a month for dressing in an all black attire for a birthday photo shoot and were accused of cultism, without proper investigation, and as a cover up, the school officials were rumored to have called the suspended students “possessed and demonic” and forced them to plead guilty to the claims against them.

Also, at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, a particular lecturer is noted for not allowing female students wear trousers in a school that does not have a dress code.

She always insists that such students will not be allowed to sit for examinations if they wear trousers to the examination hall. “We see this in several other schools where lecturers single handedly come up with annoying rules to spite students.”

There should be a way to evaluate and check the excesses of university officials based on their demeanor, not just on what they teach and a policy should be put in place to ensure that officials do not go out of bounds.


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