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Bayelsa varsity shut as protest over uniform continues


The management of the Bayelsa State-owned Niger Delta University, on Wednesday, announced the shutdown of the school following sustained demonstration by the students.

The announcement was contained in a memo dated July 7, 2021, and signed by the Registrar, NDU, Mr Benjamin Joffa.

The students had on Monday commenced a peaceful protest against the decisions of the management to introduce uniforms, banning of students’ union activities and closure of the fees portal for old students, among others.

They marched round the main campus at Amassoma chanting solidarity songs and demanding the reversal of the decisions.

The placard-carrying undergraduates alleged that engineering students would pay as much as N30,000 each for their uniform, while those from other faculties would pay N20,000 each.

They also called on Governor Douye Diri to sack the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Samuel Edoumiekumo, for alleged high-handedness and outrageous policies.

In a copy of the memo sighted by our correspondent, the institution’s management said that academic activities had been suspended indefinitely.

It also asked all the students to vacate the campuses and other facilities not later than 3pm on Wednesday.

The statement read, “Following the ongoing unrest in the university, I am directed to inform the general public and the university community that academic activities have been suspended indefinitely with immediate effect.

“Consequently, all students are directed to vacate the university’s campuses and its facilities on or before 3pm today, Wednesday, July 7, 2021.”

Before the closure of the school, there were reports that the state government, through the office of the Commissioner for Education, Gentle Emelah, and the House Committee on Education, had separately intervened in the crisis and held meetings with the university’s officials led by Edoumiekumo.

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The vice-chancellor had in June come under attack over discrimination against a physically-challenged man, who was a deputy bursar in the school, which sparked a protest.

The physically-challenged man was reportedly denied the opportunity of appearing for an interview for the position of bursar and had remained suspended following the protest although Diri addressed the management on the development.

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