BY PETER OKUTU
ABAKALIKI— OVER 100 armed policemen, Wednesday, prevented members and executives of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Ebonyi State University, EBSU, Abakaliki chapter, from protesting the crisis in the education sector.
The policemen, who were armed with AK-47 rifles, tear gas and other security accessories, closed the gate leading to the College of Agricultural Science Campus of the university.
Vanguard gathered that the policemen were also at the institution’s Ishieke and Presco campuses because of fears that the rally might be hijacked by hoodlums. Operatives of Department of State Services, DSS, were also on ground.
The EBSU-ASUU members, who walked round the university environment, were seen carrying placards with the inscriptions such as “FG: save university education,” “FG: do not kill university education,” “FG: agreement is agreement,” “Poor university education makes every sector fake,” “Nigeria: Fight poor education,” “FG-ASUU Agreement! FG has reneged,” “Say no to beggarcracy,” among others. They also chanted solidarity songs.
The policemen were said to have embarked on a stop-and-search action at the gate of the campus and collected all the materials and flyers from both academic and non-academic staff of the university.
The Chairman of the union in EBSU, Professor Ndubuisi Idenyi, accused the Federal Government of playing politics with the future of Nigerians.
Idenyi said: “In a democratic setting, people should have their right of association and movement. I think it wrong for the Nigerian Police to restrict our movement.
“It is more pathetic that we were locked inside our campus and were not allowed to leave our gate. I asked whether our gate was locked by our university security people and the information we got was that the police ordered their men to lock the gate.
“They should be more civilian-friendly because the issues we are talking about borders on education and they have their children in our schools, while some of them are our students.”