Academic and social activities were paralysed at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos State, on Wednesday as students shut the college’s gates to protest against the death of a final year student, Miss Comfort Dazan.
We learnt that the protesting students also took to the roads, blocking the Jibowu end of the Herbert Macaulay Road, Yaba.
The students were said to have chanted solidarity songs and displayed placards, some of which read, “Injustice to one is injustice to all” and “This nonsense must stop.”
We gathered that the protest caused gridlock in the area, as the students prevented motorists from moving in and out of the school.
Our correspondents gathered that the deceased was a Higher National Diploma 11 student in the Department of Office Technology Management.
It was learnt that Dazan, who had just finished the practical aspect of her examination, was to sit for the main examination on Wednesday (yesterday).
It was gathered that the student, however, fell ill some days ago and was rushed to the college’s medical centre. She was allegedly asked to pay N35, 000 before she could be treated.
Our correspondents learnt that when she could not raise the money, she was allegedly left unattended to, while her condition worsened until Tuesday when she was referred to the Federal Medical Centre, Oyingbo.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Dazan, however, died about 12am on Wednesday while being taken to the FMC.
The students were said to have gone on the rampage at about 1pm, shutting all the entrances into the school.
According to them, the poor state of the school clinic contributed to her death.
When sources arrived at the scene, a student, who simply gave his name as Adebayo, said the school’s medical centre could not provide an ambulance to transport the victim to the FMC.
He said, “Dazan was about sitting for the theory aspect of the examination when she fell ill. She was asked to pay N35,000 at the centre. When her condition worsened last night (Tuesday), they referred her to a hospital in Oyingbo.
“The school could not provide an ambulance to convey her to the hospital. She died while we were looking for a vehicle.
“However, after she had died, her corpse was taken to a morgue in an ambulance. We cannot continue to take this negligence on the part of the management.”
Another student, who declined to mention her name, said the school must rehabilitate the medical facility in the campus.
She said, “The school’s medical centre is in a poor state. We cannot allow any movement into our campus until something is done about it. What is the use of a health centre that cannot treat ill students?
“Last week, one of my roommates sustained burns as a result of hot water. She was rushed to the same centre. Nobody attended to her until after three hours. They gave her only Paracetamol.”
The school Deputy Rector, Dr Morouf Adebakin, who addressed the students, promised that the management would look into their claims.
The Head, Public Relations Unit, YABATECH, Charles Oni, said the students protested in order to disrupt the college’s examinations.
Oni, who stated that the medical centre attended to the deceased student, said students cashed in on the incident to demand an extension of the semester.
He said, “We regret to say that the lady passed on. She was a victim of Sickle Cell Anaemia. She was temporarily on admission at the medical centre under the close watch of the doctors. She was discharged when her condition became stable so she could prepare for her examination today (Wednesday).
“But she had a relapse and was rushed back to the centre where medical attention was given to her with a promise to refer her to the FMC as soon as daybreak.
“She was being conveyed to the FMC this morning when she gave up the ghost. Students immediately cashed in on the death of the student to engage in opportunistic clamour for the extension of the semester by two weeks.
“Unfortunately, many students do not prepare for examinations until they are days away. Customarily, they plead for the extension until the management put a stop to this about two years ago.
“The clamour reared its ugly head again on Wednesday as a result of the lady’s death. The remains of Dazan were interred at the Atan Cemetery today (Wednesday) with family members, college management and some students in attendance.”
Meanwhile, 100-level medical students of the University of Lagos and their parents on Wednesday disrupted activities in the ivory tower.
The protesters accused the university authorities of denying many students promotion to 200-level.
According to them, the authorities introduced some new academic promotion rules that denied many of them from proceeding to the university’s College of Medicine, Idi-Araba, to continue their programme.
The protesters also argued that the new policy was to allow the authorities to admit diploma students to the faculty.
The diploma students, the protesters alleged, paid handsomely for the offer.
But the authorities said the professional bodies regulating the study of medical programmes in the country introduced a fresh index system to regulate the quota allocated to individual university.
The UNILAG Head, Information Unit, Mr. Toyin Adebule, made this known in a statement on Wednesday.
It read in part, “Senate at its meeting held on Wednesday, January 27, 2016, had approved the implementation of the re-arrangement to conform with the professional bodies’ quota in order not to lose accreditation.
“This has regrettably meant that we have only been able to receive students into the college only up to the number the College of Medicine is allowed by the quota.”