The peaceful atmosphere on the campus of the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, Delta state was on Thursday shattered as angry students of the school protested alleged inhuman treatment by administration.
The protesting students, who took over the premises of the campus from as early as 6am, locked all access into the school, sacked the private security guards manning the gates and prevented workers and other visitors from entering, thereby preventing the normal academic and commercial activities from commencing for the day.
Our correspondent gathered from some of the students who agreed to speak that the primary source of anger of the students were the unhealthy environmental conditions those staying on campus live in as well as the refusal of the school’s authority to heed demands from students.
According to a member of the school’s Students’ Union Government (SUG), who did not want his name mentioned, besides the fact that the school’s authority had failed to provide hostel accommodation for female students and had been charged N10,000 each for accommodation.
“Basically, what is happening right now is students’ protesting what they think is their right. Overtime, the management of the school has put us in a tight corner where we can’t express ourselves. When we resumed this session, there were many agitations but our student leadership had been able to maintain peace.
“What led to the protest is that the female students paid an additional N10,000 to their school fee which is supposed to be for accommodation when accommodation is not available. In a room, we have about 15 female students squatting in a small room. We also have a room of 48 female students to a room. You will agree with me that diseases are rapidly spread among females.
“The girls have been complaining but we have tried to calm them down. Several times, there is no light for practicals but we still maintain discipline. What we are doing is our right. These are three point-demands; give the female students hostels or refund the accommodation fee they have paid.
“We live with snakes right now. Our hostels have not been fumigated and the grasses have overgrown. What we are asking the management is will any of them allow his daughters live in the kind of hostels we have in this school? There are many issues confronting us but us talking to them emotionally as their children,” the aggrieved student said.
Although efforts to speak with the institution’s Public Relations Officer, Brown Ukanefemoni, was unsuccessful as he was said to be on vacation, Students Affairs Officer, Joseph Ajima, who could be reached said the issue had been resolved.
“The issue has been resolved. We are in our offices now. Do they tell you there are snakes in the hostels? Do they show you the snakes in the female hostels? Did you enter the hostel? You can come and see whether there are snakes now that the gates have been opened,” Ajima said.