As soon as the resolution was unanimously adopted, the students marched
out of the two campuses singing anti government slogans while blocking the
As the number of the students increased,
the ferocity of their discontentment increased.
The students marched towards the busy New Lagos/Asaba Road where
vehicles belonging to Delta State Transport Service were vandalized, with one
set ablaze.The damage by the students appeared selective
as no property of the college or staff was affected.
Final year students were already in
the hall to continue their final examination when news filtered in that they
were going to be forced home. The irate
students, instead of venting their anger on their teachers, poured their
bottled up emotions on government.Apart from the attack on government
vehicles, campaign billboards of election aspirants were vandalized.
A heavy rain came to the rescue of the
police and other security operatives who had their socks rolled up to disperse
the resolute students.
A statement released by COEASU recalled
that the earlier strike was suspended on the 14th of July following
to the inauguration of a harmonisation/negotiation panel comprising
representatives of state-owned Colleges of Education and Polytechnic, with a
mandate to reach agreement with government on or before Monday, 2nd
of August this year.
The union stated that after a period of
grace given to government, it became obvious that the state government was not
favourably disposed to meet the demands of the union which were earlier
accepted by government in principle.
The new wage demand by COEASU, it will
be recalled, had long ago been accepted and implemented by government for the
staff of Delta State University. Non-academic staff of the college has earlier
resumed the suspended strike after what they believed to be apparent lack of
commitment from government.
The police and other security agents have
reportedly arrested some students for their roles in the protest. It is not
confirmed how many of the students are in the custody.
Anioma Watch gathered that union leaders in
state-owned colleges of education and polytechnics were invited by the governor
for discussion. Unconfirmed sources hinted that the Chief Executive has shown
commitment to pay the workers the new salary demands. The strike, according to
our source, would likely be called off
this week.It was also
gathered that before the meeting with the governor, the union leaders were
drilled by security operatives who accused them of complexity in the violent
protest by the students.It will be recalled that the last time the students of the college protested was in 1988, when they joined the
national protest against the infamous Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP),
a fiscal policy introduced by Ibrahim
Badamosi Babangida, the then military president of the country.