AKSU Students Protest State Government Failure to Inaugurate 105-room Hostel Three years after Completion
By Ekemini Simon
Students of Akwa Ibom State University in Ikot Akpaden, Mkpat Enin local government area of Akwa Ibom State have protested over what they described as the “refusal” of the State Government to inaugurate the 105 ensuite hostel completed for use since 2019.
The facility which is fenced round and complemented with generating set was built and donated by the Chief Executive Officer of Desicon Engineering Limited, Mr. Akan Udofia.
The students who occupied the Permanent Site and town campus of the institution in peaceful protest on Tuesday had inscriptions on their placards such as ” Governor please commission our hostel and relieve us accommodation stress”, ” Governor please commission our hostel, don’t leave us to suffer”, ” please commission our hostel, landlords are billing us”.
Addressing the protesters, the Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Students- Joint Campus Committee, Akwa Ibom State Axis, Comrade Moses Itaketo noted that the reason for the protest stems from the frustration the students get from getting accommodation despite having a 105 well furnished hostel lying waste since its completion in July 2019.
Comrade Itaketo said the students are concerned that without explanation from the government, the hostel is yet to be received after about three years of completion through an official commissioning so as to enable accessibility and usage by the students of the institution.
He said the peaceful protest is to serve as a signal to the State Government that the students are frustrated and thus demand immediate attention to their plight.
While thanking the donor of the hostel, Mr Akan Udofia for seeing the need to invest “heavily” in education and also mitigating the long term issue of students studying in the only state university, Itaketo added ” We want to register our displeasure on the actions of the state government for failing to keep politics aside especially on issues that concerns education and students welfare.
” We want to point out that the only hostel that was occupied by the students had since 2014 been converted to office spaces without replacement from the government until Mr. Udofia saw the need to come to our rescue. After the completion of this hostel we see no reason its commissioning should be delayed for about three years. We are simply asking the government to commission the hostel for our use’.
The Student leader said the protest is only a warning demonstration stressing that the students may be forced to undertake statewide showdown if their demands are not met.
Attempts to get reaction from the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Idongesit Etiebet was unsuccessful. She did not respond to her calls and text messages before press time.