Aggrieved protesters from Ohaji-Egbema Council Area of Imo State on Monday barricaded the exit and entrance gates to the Imo State Polytechnic Umuagwo to stop the planned relocation of the school by state government.
Students and Staff were trapped as they could not enter nor leave the school premises while the protest lasted.
It will be recalled that the state government recently upgraded the Polytechnic to a full- fledged University and subsequently got the approval of the National University Commission (NUC).
Thereafter the State government ordered the Polytechnic now known as the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences be relocated to its new site at Ehime Mbano Local Government Area.
The protesters, who were mainly youths, vowed to continue until the state government rescinded the plan to relocate the Polytechnic.
But the government dismissed the protesters as a bunch of misinformed and misguided youths.
The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Rochas Okorocha, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo in a statement said: “The attention of the Rescue Mission Government in the State has been drawn to a misleading protest by few misinformed youths who claimed to be indigenes of Ohaji against the new University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Aboh/Ngor/Umuagwo
“It is very unfortunate that some enemies of the State have decided to play politics with everything including the development and progress of the State and her people, otherwise why would any group sponsor needless protest against the new University, which its operational licence has been got and everything needed for its take-off has been put in place”.
It went on: “The government had few days ago explained that, following the establishment of the Imo State University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at the premises of the Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo with Campus at Aboh/Ngor, the Imo State Polytechnic has been relocated to Ehime Mbano with a Campus at the Site of Ahiara Polytechnic, Ahiazu Mbaise.
“The interest of the State government under Governor Rochas Okorocha has been the even development of all the parts of the State.
“Indigenes of the State who love the State and its development have been congratulating the governor for this feat.
“It is therefore surprising that some youths should allow themselves to become tools of such needless protest in the hands of those who do not have any iota of love for the progress of the State and the prosperity of the people of the State.
“Why should youths in their right senses protest against the siting of a University in their area which its operational licence has been received? Our people should always detach petty politics from the lofty ideal of developing the State and prospering the people”.
The government advised “the leaders of Ohaji should take the bull by the horn by correcting the impression this wrong move by those youths on protest has created especially when the staff of the Polytechnic have nothing to lose.
“We have also heard that the owners of the private hostels in the area, working with some soul-less politicians were behind the few youths on protest at the front gate of the former Polytechnic.
“It is unfortunate that few individuals, because of their personal interest could rise against the overall interest of the state and Ohaji people in particular”.
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