by Zara Mustapha
The authorities of the Caleb University, in Imota, Lagos State, shut the institution on Thursday following a violent protest by the students.
Though no lives were lost, the students damaged properties worth millions of naira during their protest on Wednesday evening.
It was gathered that the students who were protesting against what they tagged “strict rules”, smashed the glasses of 4 cars and damaged several properties belonging to the school.
Nigerian Eye report:
Sources said an altercation between a Muslim student and an official of the university caused the unrest.
The official, it was learnt, stopped the Muslim student from praying in the school. The action reportedly provoked other students who frowned on the decision of the official.
Following this, the students mobilised and started shouting solidarity songs and making calls for freedom of worship.
The rally later degenerated as they attacked the university official and started destroying properties on campus.
It was also learnt that the intervention of the police prevented the rampaging students from causing more havoc.
But announcing the forced closure on Thursday, the school’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ayo Olukoju, admitted that the action of the students prompted the “temporal vacation”.
Olukoju, who said the school would reopen on June 2, 2014, noted that the religious link to crisis was a “mere pretence.”
The insistence of the authorities to enforce a standing rule in the school, the VC, who spoke to our correspondent on Thursday, said caused the demonstration.
He said, “We have rules and regulations in the school and all the students agreed to abide by them. These rules are in the student handout. Before now, we have been applying appropriate sanctions against students who default in any of these rules. We wanted to enforce one of such sanctions on Wednesday before this crisis escalated.
“Please, the crisis has nothing to do with religion. It has nothing to do with being a Christian or a Muslim. People, especially female students even went to their worship centres on campus on Wednesday to pray after the incident. Again, I tell you this action was carried out by the male students alone.”
Authorities of the Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State, another private university, shut the institution last March following a violent students’ protest.
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