The Students Union Government (SUG) of Isa Mustapha Agwai Polytechnic, Lafia, Nasarawa State, has alleged that those benefiting from analogue payment of school fees instigated the protest in the institution on March 11.
Mr Musa Aboki, the branch President of the SUG, revealed this on Tuesday in Lafia when officials of the union appeared before the State House of Assembly Committee on Education investigating students protest at the institution.
Aboki said that those benefitting from old method of school fees payment were not happy when the new management of the institution introduced new portal for students registration and payment of school fees.
The SUG president, while condemning the act, urged the committee to deal with any person/ persons found wanting to serve as deterrent to others and for the overall development of education in the state.
He described the violent protest as a clear case of corruption fighting back.
“I want to commend you for investigating the students protest as we have also condemned the act in its totality.
“We were suspecting that some people who were benefiting with the old (analogue) method of school fees payment investigated the students protest.
“They are not happy when the new management of the school introduced new portal for students registration and payment of school fees.
“As the new portal blocked leakages and loopholes, and checkmate corruption because before some students school fees go into individual pockets,” he said.
Aboki dismissed allegations that the school management closed school fees portal and increased school fees which led to the protest.
“On 11th March, 2021, the school portal was working as some students were paying school fees when the protest was going on and as I am speaking, the portal is presently working
“We don’t know why some students protested,” he said.
The student leader commended the school management under the rectorship of Dr Justina Kotso for providing purposeful and inclusive leadership as well as carrying students along in her scheme of things.
Earlier, Mr Daniel Ogazi, the Chairman, House Committee on Education and Science, said that the committee decided to invite them in order to get first-hand information that would assist it in carrying out its investigation.
“We have invited you to testify on the students protest of 11th March, 2021, which destroyed properties worth millions of Naira at the institution.
“Tell us what you know about the students protest in order to unravel the immediate and remote causes of the protest,” he said.
Ogazi (APC-Kokona East) said that the committee would come up with its findings at the end of the day in order to punish perpetrators of the protest.
The chairman advised students to always be calm and respect constituted authorities by respecting the school rules and regulations in the interest of peace and for the overall development of the education sector.
Also appearing before the committee were Mr Arinya Ogbole, the embattled Chairman of Alumni of the institution, and Jamilu Abubakar, the former Caretaker Commmittee Chairman of the polytechnic alumni.
The committee chairman blamed Ogbole and Abubakar for inciting the public against the management of the polytechnic through their posting in the social media and other utterances against the personality of the rector and the institution at large. (NAN)