NAN – Five students of Akwa Ibom School of Health Technology in Etinan, have been expelled by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that the students were on Wednesday invited by the commissioner for discussion over the lingering crisis in the school caused by hike in tuition fees.
The leader of the students, Mr. Joe Friday, told NAN that the commissioner invited them to his office for dialogue.
He said that they were surprised that instead of dialoguing with them, Ukpong asked them to sign an undertaking not to further participate in protest over the hike in tuition fees.
Friday added that when they refused to sign the undertaking, Ukpong said that it was an insult on his person and the ministry and told them they had been expelled from the school.
He said: “The issue is that we wanted the school fees to be reduced.
“The Commissioner asked us to come for dialogue; but when we got to his office, we discovered that we were invited for another thing, not for dialogue on increase in school fees.
“We were asked to sign an undertaking that we were not going to cause trouble in the school if we should be allowed to remain in the institution.
“When we refused to sign the undertaking, the commissioner said we were insolent and stood rusticated from the school.
“The news of our rustication was even broadcast in the state’s owned radio station, Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation (AKBC) on Wednesday.”
Friday listed the other students affected by the action to include, Ekanem Ezekiel, Ekanem Okon, Ekpo Inyang, and Paul Emmanuel.
He explained that the under the new fees, fresh students (indigenes) would pay N74,000 as against N36,850 while non-indigenes were charged N81,300 as also against N36,850.
He said that returning students are to pay N41,500 as against N13,350 before the increase.
When contacted, the commissioner said that NAN correspondent had no right to call him directly to talk on the issue.
He said, “Did you get this from my information officer?
“Talk to my information officer. You can’t call me directly and begin to talk to me.”