Stu­dents block Enugu-Onit­sha Ex­press­way over ex­tor­tion

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Emma Elekwa, Awka

Some 1000 stu­dents of the Nwafor Orizu Col­lege of Ed­u­ca­tion Nsugbe, Anam­bra State, yes­ter­day bar­ri­caded both lanes of the Enugu-Onit­sha Ex­press­way over al­leged ex­tor­tion, in­tim­i­da­tion and ha­rass­ment by of­fi­cials and agents of the state gov­ern­ment.

The protest­ing stu­dents un­der the aus­pices of Joint Cam­pus Com­mit­tee ( JCC), car­ried plac­ards with var­i­ous in­scrip­tions, ‘Voice of stu­dent must be heard,’ ‘Stu­dents say no to in­tim­i­da­tion,’ ‘Uju Akudo Must Go,’ ‘Com­mis­sioner for Trans­port En­cour­ag­ing Touts,’ among oth­ers.

The stu­dents chanted sol­i­dar­ity songs, dis­rupted ve­hic­u­lar move­ment and busi­nesses for sev­eral hours, in­sist­ing they would not va­cate the road un­less they were ad­dressed by the state gov­er­nor.

Daily trust learnt that it took a reen­force­ment team led by Su­per­in­ten­dent Wil­lie Odumu from Po­lice Head­quar­ters to dis­perse the protesters af­ter an un­suc­cess­ful at­tempt by a team led by An­thony Akpeyi, DPO of B-Di­vi­sion.

Speak­ing to news­men, Chair­man of JCC in Anam­bra, Betty Okoye, said the stu­dents could no longer con­done the sit­u­a­tion where agents who claimed to be work­ing for gov­ern­ment in­flicted hard­ship on stu­dents. Okoye said the al­leged agents of gov­ern­ment frus­trated the bus sta­tion des­ig­nated for stu­dents’ shut­tle park in Onit­sha from func­tion­ing.

He said the stu­dents paid between N50 and N70 us­ing the des­ig­nated park but were be­ing made to pay between N150 and N200 by il­le­gal agents, and called on Gov­er­nor Wil­lie Obiano to stop the il­le­gal agents from con­niv­ing with of­fi­cials of gov­ern­ment to cause hard­ship for stu­dents and give him bad im­age.

Ad­dress­ing the protesters, the special ad­viser to the State gov­er­nor on po­lit­i­cal mat­ters, Chinedu Obidigwe, thanked them for con­duct­ing them­selves peace­fully and as­sured them that their re­quest would reach the gov­er­nor.

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