From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri

Students in Imo State have taken to the street protesting against extortion and intimidation by lecturers, poor academic environment, high cost of living, moribund medical facilities, infrastructural in their various tertiary schools.

The students appealed to the federal and state governments to stop incessant hike in their school fees, tuition fees, undue extortion through handouts, textbooks, to provide conducive learning environment, install medical equipments or facilities such as electricity, water , among others, for improved quality education.

The protesters were comprised of students from Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), Imo State University Owerri (IMSU), Alvan Ikoku Federal University of Education Owerri, Federal Polytechnic Nekede Owerri and Imo State University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (UAES), Umuagwo, Ohaji, who carried out the peaceful protest, in Owerri, on Thursday.

The students who displayed placards with various inscriptions as: “No More Increments Of Fees. Students Are Dropping Out Of School Due to Fee Increments. Our Students Are Dying, Equip Our Schools’ Medical Centres. Give Us Good Medical Facilities. We Need Conducive Learning Environment.

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The students who also lamented high cost of living/accommodation fees and hardship in Imo State, occasioned by what they termed government’s bad economic policy, poor infrastructure, unemployment, urged government to make and effectively implement people oriented policies to cushion suffering, hunger and poverty.

The Vice President, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Dist. Senator Ahaneku Valentine Nzubechi, who was called upon by the protesting students to help them take their message to the authorities concerned, reassured them that the federal and state governments will give heed to their plights and requests to enhance quality education.

The NANS Vice President stressed that the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, “who is NANS Patron, will listen to your plights, hence you should calm down. Also, we are sure that President Bola Ahmad Tinubu will address these issues you raised because they are lovers of education who believe that youths are great assets and future leaders”.

Among other leaders of NANS who addressed the protesters is the Public Relations Officer of NANS, Achebe Chizzy, who said tertiary schools in Imo State need total overhauling to improve standard academic.