Owerri – Students of Alvan Ikoku Federal Collage of Education, Owerri said on Monday that they acted in error following a riot that led to its closure for four months.
Speaking in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Owerri, the students said they were misled to protest against the school by the students’ union leadership.
Some of the students who were at a new-generation bank to settle the fine imposed on them said their action was regrettable.
Miss Chinelo Amadi, a final year student of economics education, said the compulsory levy was justifiable considering the damage the students caused.
“The riot started like a demonstration and later turned into a very violent protest,” she said.
A third year student of English education, Mr Kenneth Amadi, said the riot was a mere deceit from the students’ union government.
He said they were given false information about plans to hike fees, which instigated the riot.
Speaking on the impact of the riot, the Provost of the collage, Dr Blessing Ijioma, told newsmen that the institution suffered a major setback as a result of the riot.
“We have reopened the collage, but every student must pay a compulsory levy of N 12,800 because of the level of damage to the school properties,” she said.
To justify the levy, Ijioma said that more than 100 computers were carted off by the students and other hoodlums who joined the protest.
“More than 20 vehicles were damaged, computers were carted off and our glass houses shattered,” she said.
Ijioma commended the Federal Government for TETFUND projects which gave rise to new projects in the institution.
“The Federal Government’s presence is being felt in this institution, which has positioned us as one of the best collages of education in the country,” she said.
The provost also called for the upgrade of the institution to a university, adding that facilities for the upgrade were on ground.
The students of the college embarked on a protest sometime in July, citing plans by the school authorities to hike fees.
The management of the collage reopened it early November but tagged a compulsory levy of N12,800 on each student to fix the damaged properties.