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Protesting students shut down MAPOLY

Hundreds of students of the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Ogun State, stormed the institution on Monday morning and shut the main gate leading to the school, thus denying academic and non- academic staff access to the campus.

Academic activities were paralysed as many students who had turned up for lectures were ordered back home.

Our correspondent gathered that some final-year students of the institution constituted the bulk of those who locked up the gate.

While they waited in front of the school gate, a detachment of policemen kept watch at a distance at Oloke and Pansheke, two strategic locations with huge student population.

The students said they were protesting the non-release of their final year results by the academic staff. They told our correspondent that they had concluded their final examination since January 2018 and had hoped to be mobilised for the one-year National Youth Service Corps programme scheduled to begin in April.

They said that with the delay in the release of their results, it was uncertain that they would be able to catch up with the April batch of prospective corps members.

It would be recalled that the academic staff of the institution were at loggerheads with the Ogun State Government in January 2017 over the proposed transformation of the polytechnic  to Moshood Abiola University of Science and Technology , as well as the establishment of the new Ogun State Polytechnic, Ipokia.

The students, who conducted their protest peacefully, were said to have left the school gate around 1.30pm.

Efforts made to reach the Public Relations Officer of the institution, Sulaiman Adebiyi, proved abortive as he neither picked his call nor returned a text message sent to him on the matter.

In his reaction, Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Students, Ogun State axis, Comrade Olawale Balogun, described the students’ action as unfortunate.

He, however, appealed to the lecturers and state government to do the needful and end their face-off.

He said, “It is just unfortunate that we found ourselves in this mess as students. We are suffering for what does not concern us. Let me use this medium to appeal to the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, MAPOLY chapter, to be fatherly and human to us as students because none of us is a child of the governor or any of the commissioners. More so, the government should also do the needful.”

The ASUP Chairman in the institution, Mr. Kola Abiola, declined to comment on the development. “I have no reaction,” he said.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the policemen were on routine patrol to maintain law and order.

He, however, said they had an intelligence report that there might be a breakdown of law and order around the vicinity of the polytechnic and the police had to take proactive action to prevent it.

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