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UI protest


Hundreds of University of Ibadan (UI) students protested yesterday the epileptic power supply to their campus. The campus was grounded.

Most of the major roads leading to the university were blocked as the protesters spilled into the streets of Ibadan.

The students marched on the Dugbe Office of the Power Holding Company Nigeria (PHCN) to complain.

Six police vans guarded them to prevent the march from being hijacked by criminals.

The students, who as early as 7am stormed the school gate, dispatched another set of students to chase their colleagues out of the lecture room to join the rally.

Taxi drivers, who last saw such demonstration 11 years ago, were shocked when they were forced by the students to  convey them to the PHCN office.

The students are protesting the over three weeks epileptic power supply, which they claimed has continued to affect their study.

They asked the school authorities to increase the hours of power supply from three to six hours daily.

The institution has been using diesel generators to supply power for two hours in the night and one hour in the morning.

The Student Union was said to have approached the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Isaac Adewole, to increase the alternative power supply to six hours but he refused, saying there was no way the institution could go beyond the capacity.

His response was said to have infuriated the students, who started mobilising for the protest on Wednesday.

The Chairman , Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU), Dr Ademola Aremu, appealed to the students for caution to avoid getting the school closed.

He said the university pays between N10 and N12 million to PHCN for power but spends N40million on diesel.

He said workers who live on campus spend N1,000 daily to generate power personally.

The Sub-Dean of the Postgraduate School, Dr Adeyinka Aderinto, also pleaded with the students to adopt a civil approach to the problem ,adding that the school was out to make life more meaningful and worthwhile for the students.

The power supply failure affected the pumping of water to the halls of residence.

Hundreds of people were forced to trek inside the school.

The protest forced the closure of most offices on campus while vendors were chased out by the aggrieved students.

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