In the aftermath of the killing of one of their member, students of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU), have given the Abia State government a four-day ultimatum to rehabilitate the road leading to the university.
The final year student of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management, Miss Chidinma Ogbonna was killed by an articulated truck loaded with iron rods last Sunday evening around the gate of the university along Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene road.
President of the Students’ Union Government (SUG), Comrade Chukwuma Ogochukwu stated this during a peaceful protest by the members against the death at the Government House, Umuahia, the state capital, yesterday.
He blamed the accident on what he described as the deplorable condition of the federal road linking Abia and Akwa Ibom states, saying Miss Chidinma Ogbonna’s death was the fifth on the road by similar circumstance recently.
In his response, the secretary to the state government (SSG), Barr Chris Ezem said the government would commence palliative measures on the road as soon as possible, assuring that the government will stand by the pledge.
Flanked by the state commissioner of police, Mrs Jane Agbede and other top government officials, he sympathized with both the parents of the late student and the authorities of the university, adding that the government would reach out to the family.
Similarly, the special assistant to the governor on student affairs, Comrade Chibuzor Ndom commended the students for their peaceful approach and expressed confidence that the palliative work would commence soon.
In a statement issued and signed by the public relations officer, Mrs Adanma Odefa, the university said it is no longer news that the state end of the road had become barely passable.
The statement, which was sighted by LEADERSHIP, said, the sorry state of the road had occasioned untold hardship on both the staff members and student population, including loss of lives of students.
“The vice chancellor, Prof Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, and the entire management are deeply saddened by this great loss. We ask her family to please accept our heartfelt condolences,” it added.
Some of the placards carried by the students bore inscriptions such as “I thought I will graduate and go home as a corps member and not a corpse,” “Stop borrowing money for your pleasure,” and “Save the road and save our lives.”