Following the recent protest embarked upon by the Members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), which blocked the Enugu-Onitsha expressway Awka on the allegation of extortion by officials of the Anambra government, Authority of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University has denied the knowledge of the protesters.
Speaking to newsmen in Awka, the public relations officer, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Dr. Emmanuel Ojukwu said the protesters are not students of the institution and should not be taken serious for their demands.
He said the school is on vacation and they could not have converge to block vehicular movement without the knowledge of the school authority.
Over the weekend, some NANS protesters were seen carrying placards with various inscription, including ‘students reject illegal tolls’, Gov. Obiano save our soul’, and ‘Students back Obiano on abolition of illegal levies’ among others.
They alleged that the school transport scheme had been badly treated by the Anambra state Internally Generated Revenue Board with various degree of taxations.
Reacting, the Director of Communication in the university, Dr Emmanuel Ojukwu, described the protest as strange, saying that the institution had not received such a report.
He condemned the students who barricaded the expressway at the school gate, saying, however, that the students were on break enjoying their holiday.
He claimed that they might be hoodlums, who would have been under the employment of some politicians to cause chaos and disharmony in the state.
On his part, to clear the air on the allegation of extortion and harassment of the school transport scheme, the Anambra state coordinator, shuttle drivers welfare association, Mr. Onyebuchi Okeke denied the allegation put up by the students, said the exemption noted by the state government does not cover school shuttle busses.
He claimed that the student also operate beyond their jurisdiction which placed them in the category of other commercial bus drivers in the state.
Okeke said campus-branded buses operated within the campus to the nearest bus terminus in town, adding that those in Awka had taken over the town.
He said the students’ buses were ferrying market women, civil servants and the general public which the city shuttles should take care of.
Correspondent report that, the Nnamdi Azikiwe school authority has however pledged to review the operation of the school shuttle transport scheme to fall in line with the school regulation.