Students of the Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro in Isoko North local government area of Delta State, on Wednesday staged protests against a hike in their school fees and the institution rector’s call to vote all candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 general elections.
SaharaReporters learned that anti-riot police codenamed “Lion Squad” shot three students during the protests that started close at noon and lasted for close to three hours. The police also teargased the students and sporadically shot into the air.
Student and police sources said the protests paralyzed economic and social activities. Some furious students destroyed the billboards of PDP candidates. Some of the protesters carried placards that read, “Rector you cannot force us to vote for PDP,” “Dr. Jacob Oboreh, leave us to vote for the candidates of our choice,” “Reverse to the old school fees,” “You can't increase school fees on your own,” “You must return to the former school fees.”
The protesting students barricaded the ever-busy Ozoro-Kwale-Asaba Road, causing a traffic gridlock.
“On Wednesday morning the rector, Dr. Jacob Oboreh, gathered us to address us. While addressing us on the hike in our school fees from N34, 000 to N54, 850, he then stated that every one of us must vote for all the candidates of PDP. This order, coupled with the hike, provoked us, said a student source.
Another student union leader stated that their protests were against the “indiscriminate hike in our school fees. Secondly, we were provoked by the rector's instruction that every student should vote for PDP candidates in the forthcoming 2015 general elections.
One source said that the chairman of Isoko North local government area, Emmanuel Egbabor, had raced to the campus and called leaders of the students union to the rector's office for a meeting.
The rector, Mr. Oboreh, did not respond to calls and text messages to his mobile line. The college’s spokesman, Mr. B.A Ekanem, declined to comment on the protests. He promised to get back to our correspondent, but failed to do so.