Some 1000 students of the Nwafor Orizu College of Education Nsugbe, Anambra State, yesterday barricaded both lanes of the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway over alleged extortion, intimidation and harassment by officials and agents of the state government.
The protesting students under the auspices of Joint Campus Committee (JCC), carried placards with various inscriptions, ‘Voice of student must be heard,’ ‘Students say no to intimidation,’ ‘Uju Akudo Must Go,’ ‘Commissioner for Transport Encouraging Touts,’ among others.
The students chanted solidarity songs, disrupted vehicular movement and businesses for several hours, insisting they would not vacate the road unless they were addressed by the state governor.
It was learnt that it took a re-enforcement team led by Superintendent Willie Odumu from Police Headquarters to disperse the protesters after an unsuccessful attempt by a team led by Anthony Akpeyi, DPO of B-Division.
Speaking to newsmen, Chairman of JCC in Anambra, Betty Okoye, said the students could no longer condone the situation where agents who claimed to be working for government inflicted hardship on students. Okoye said the alleged agents of government frustrated the bus station designated for students’ shuttle park in Onitsha from functioning.
He said the students paid between N50 and N70 using the designated park but were being made to pay between N150 and N200 by illegal agents, and called on Governor Willie Obiano to stop the illegal agents from conniving with officials of government to cause hardship for students and give him bad image.
Addressing the protesters, the special adviser to the State governor on political matters, Chinedu Obidigwe, thanked them for conducting themselves peacefully and assured them that their request would reach the governor.