Chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Cross River State Chapter, Comrade Dan Obo Jnr, has called on both management and students of the University of Calabar, UNICAL, to embrace dialogue in resolving issues emanating from the increment of school fee in the tertiary educational institution.

Obo who made the call in Calabar on Wednesday during an interactive session with journalists, said that protest should only be considered the last option in a situation where the university management fails to grant audience to the students leadership on how best to resolve complaints accompanying the school fee increment.

He said the NYCN as an umbrella body for youths in the state was very much concern about the peace and tranquility in the state, hence it would not get itself involved in any form of protest capable of disturbing the peace in the capital city, especially now that the Calabar Carnival is around the corner.

The NYCN Chairman said given the level of hardship, hunger and desperation in the land, a protest like the one embarked upon by a section of students in the University of Calabar could easily be hijacked by miscreants to perpetrate looting and destruction of properties within and outside the school environment.

Read Also: Tinubu Government To ‘Digitalise’ Abuja State House, Lagos Offices With N10Billion

“This media interface has to do with the recent school fee increase in UNICAL and the after effect and possibly the security threat to our state. Every time we try to talk about crisis within the state we first take is that when you do a protest it will be hijacked, whether you like it or not. We did a protest within Calabar Municipality and it was hijacked, so if you do a protest within Calabar South you are in serious trouble.

“As someone who had the opportunity to go through that level of education, if anything happens the students will be the ones to pay for the damage. For example, if you do protest in Ekpo Abasi and the youths in Ekpo Abasi now enter into Crutech and loot, at the end of the day those who are students in that school will pay whatever damage the school encounter in their various school fees.

“Security report getting to us is that people are even calling students and encouraging them to go and protest. They are calling them to say that the school fee increase doesn’t make sense, to the extent that people want students from Unicross to come and protest in the activities of UNICAL. The SUG president seems to be very handicap. How about NACRISS, that’s the umbrella body of Cross River State students? The reality here is that UNICAL is a federal institution, so if you go into UNICAL you will see other states student union bodies there. It’s not like a school where you go and it’s totally Cross Riverians.

“For me, first I believe that protest is not an option. The best option is to see how there could be dialogue because when school fees is increased, the highest you can do is to demand for reduction. But you do not have the right to say it cannot be increased anymore. And if you look at the present economic situation, you will also discover that… Some have also said that every year the present Vice Chancellor increases school fees.

“As I sit here, I belong to a national platform where virtually activity of every state is being dropped. I can tell you as at today that about 6, 7 universities have also increase school fees. We cannot continue to talk about leadership from bottom-top approach. It is time we begin to look at area that even make laws, as regards people governing us. They are also asking some youths to go through protest. If you put all of these together, it’s beginning to be political. And so when the destruction happens, it becomes a Cross River State destruction.

“I’ve also been asked too to be part of protest as a youth leader of the state that it doesn’t make sense to increase school fees, and I said no. That’s not an option. Rather they should strengthen the student union government whose responsibility it is to negotiate for students in campus. So they can get involve and possibly be sure that there’s a dialogue.

“As an umbrella body for the young people, any youth who goes out to do protest within our name, we will say no. Even when you try to do something that carries our image and we are not comfortable with it we must rise up to say no. We are not in support of protest. Even people who are in government, whether in the executive or legislative arm, it is not necessary to encourage people to go and do protest.

“To even start with, as representative how many scholarship do we have? As representative how many education programmes do we have? As representative how many of our students are going outside to study? Between you and I you can also not take away the fact that there’s some level of both infrastructure and academic that’s getting better in UNICAL,” he said.

Published by Governor Prince Otu spokesperson, Chief Obol Daniel Obo Chief Security and Ceo Billionaire Bill media Team and Blog.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post