ByÂ Tony Edike
ENUGUâ€”OVER 80 persons, including students and youths believed to have participated in Saturdayâ€™s violent protest by students of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN),Â have been arrested by the police.
The mass arrest by the police,Â which commenced since Sunday has increased tension in the town, as some of the aggrieved students, who have refused to vacate their hostels in defiance of the managementâ€™s directive, have continued to threaten fresh violence over the alleged 150 percent increase in all the fees payable in the university.
The students are also angry with the action of the security operatives deployed to the school, who they accuse of being highhanded in dealing with the students.
Meanwhile, Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Bartholomew Okolo, has alleged that the violent protest by students, which led to the destruction of property worth millions of naira was sponsored by those he described as â€œmiscreant staff of the institution.â€
Okolo specifically fingered some academic staff, who he said contested the position of Vice Chancellor with him at the expiration of the tenure of the former Vice Chancellor, Professor Chinedu Nebo last year and exonerated the Studentsâ€™ Union Government, SUG, executive as masterminds of the mayhem.
In his official reaction to the incident, the Vice Chancellor dismissed the allegation that the school authorities announced a new fee regime, which reportedly sparked off the protest, notingÂ Â â€œwe have neither contemplated increasing any fee, be it tuition fee, accommodation fee or convocation fee.â€
Also reacting to the ugly incident, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Information and Media and Senator representing Enugu North (Nsukka Zone) in the Senate, Senator Ayogu Eze condemned the violent demonstration carried out by the students, accusing the Vice Chancellor of complicity in the entire episode.
In a statement issued in Enugu, the Senator called on the Committee on Education in both the Senate and House of Representatives to conduct full hearing on the matter, saying that having studied the â€œsad development,â€ he had discovered that the management of the university has a lot of questions to answer.