The University of Abuja has rusticated an undergraduate student, Cyprian Igwe, over a WhatsApp group message where he urged colleagues to protest against the recent hike in school fees.
Mr Igwe, in the WhatsApp message sighted by our correspondent, had said, “Good evening, house. We will be having a meeting tomorrow by 6:00 pm in regards to school fees, let’s know our way forward. I am deeply in pain, many students can’t pay, I hope the SUG President is in this group. I need everyone’s ideas.
“I’d rather risk my life, my admission than seeing thousands of students drop out. If the spirit of Aluta lives in us. It has to wake up. Please be part of this meeting.”
However, following his demand, the university, in a “rustication letter” sighted by our correspondent, dated May 26, 2023, signed by the Deputy Registrar (Academic) on behalf of the Registrar, UniAbuja, accused Igwe and one other student, Olamilekan Oladeru, of circulating an “inciteful press release”.
The letter reads, “You will recall that on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, an inciteful press release was made available to the public, purportedly signed by the Student Union Government’s President and Speaker.
“Preliminary investigations revealed that you and Oladeru Samson Olamilekan (18291126) facilitated and circulated the information.
“Your actions are capable of jeopardising the peaceful and smooth conduct of academic activities in the university and a breach of the University Matriculation Oath.
” By the powers conferred on the Vice-Chancellor as contained in the University of Abuja Act, he, on behalf of the Senate, has directed your immediate rustication from the university.
“Accordingly, you are banned from all university campuses pending the determination of the case.”
Meanwhile, announcing his rustication while demanding public support for the indigent in a follow-up tweet on Friday night, Igwe wrote, “Today, I was rusticated from the University of Abuja because of my post on my SUG WhatsApp group.
“If the poor can’t go to school, we don’t have the education we deserve. #HumanRightsDefenders #uniabuja #humanitarian #NoToUniabujaSchoolFeesHike #poorhaverighttoeducation.”