There was a protest at Federal Polytechnic, Ekowe, Bayelsa State, after a Poly student identified as Adekunle reportedly drowned while trying to fetch water for domestic use, due to lack of water on the campus on Sunday.
Aggrieved students who reacted to their colleagues death, protested against absence of potable water and alleged neglect by the school authorities, as it was learnt that lack of potable water on the campus forced students to rely on the river and other unconventional means for water.
Speaking to Punch’s correspondent, a source said;
“The two of them could not swim. So, when Ade fell into the river, all his friend could do was to raise the alarm. Before people could get to him, he had breathed his last”.
The neglect in the Polytechnic reportedly worsened due to lack of presence of the school management on the campus located in Ekowe, in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state. The Rector of the polytechnic, Timi Seiyaboh, and staff members of the school, reportedly operated from the liaison office in Yenagoa, the state capital.
The protesting students claimed that all attempt to call the attention of Seiyaboh to the incident, proved abortive.
Human rights activist, Alagoa Morris, who faulted the school management on its handling of the matter, confirmed that a team of police operatives was sent to the school to avert breakdown of law and order over the poly student death.
“It is interesting to hear that the police arrived on the campus which is situated along the River Nun, while the authorities of the institution remained in Yenagoa and invited the students to come to meet them.
“Even if the transport fares of the students will be borne by the school authorities, it is unacceptable. The school should not be managed from Yenagoa.
“The rector and other management staff have to go down to Ekowe and justify their pay and engagement by the Federal Government” he said.
However on his own part, the rector of the school Seiyaboh said he was on the ground to handle the issues on the campus, and further denied allegations that he was managing the school from Yenagoa.
“I am always on the ground and I have been here to handle the problem. There was no time I asked the students to come to meet me in Yenagoa,” he said.