By Ovie Okpare
The Rector of the Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro, Prof. Job Akpodiete has reacted to the protest where students of the institution on Tuesday grounded academic activities at the school premises.
Prof. Akpodiete said the decision to bar students from driving their vehicles and motorcycles into the school premises was to ‘prevent reckless driving’ resulting in incessant accidents within the campus.
He gave the reaction when the rector spoke exclusively with NIGER DELTA TODAY Online on Tuesday.
This medium had reported that Ozoro polytechnic students led by officials of the Student Union Government (SUG) in the earlier hours of Tuesday locked the main entrance gate to the school campus over the ban on students driving their vehicles and motorcycles into the school premises.
The protesting students had described the decision as “anti-students and uncivilized.”
The students also temporarily blocked the school section of the Ughelli/Asaba expressway until it was later opened for traffic following intervention of security agencies.
Akpodiete explained that the decision was taken by the school council, and not by the school management.
“It’s not a new law. It’s a law that has always been there. It’s council decision. Management only implements council’s decisions”, the Ozoro rector said on phone.
He noted that he had informed the State Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof. Patrick Muoboghare of the protest, adding that the demands of the protesting students would be looked into by council and management of the institution.
According to him, “Okada cannot enter the school premises. Cars with tainted glasses too because they are banned by government not us.
“Destruction and breaking of students’ legs and all that were reasons (referring to accidents within campus). So, council took a decision on it. There are kekes (tricycles) that are put there for students to move to all parts of the campus. The Kekes are registered with the school security. It’s not a new policy.”
When asked if the school management would review the ban, Prof Akpodiete, Professor of Agricultural Biochemistry and Animal Nutrition, said “I am not council but they are meeting and they will take their decisions. Management cannot reverse council’s decision. It’s only council that can review the ban.
“There’s no problem, everywhere is under control. The students are our children, and we will treat them as our children. When your children misbehave, you correct them.”