Tension is currently building up at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) as a strange sickness reportedly claimed the lives of 13 students in less than a month.
According to information obtained by the New Telegraph, the regrettable experience, which has already raised anxiety among university students and staff, has been minimised by the university administration.
A university staff member, Godwin Onah, who spoke to newsmen, described the situation as alarming and called on the state government for intervention.
He said, “There are massive mysterious deaths at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, yet the Enugu State Government and school management are non-challenge about it.
“The Enugu State Government or Federal Government should close the school immediately to avert further deaths.”
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On Friday, the team led by the state Commissioner of Health, Dr Ikechukwu Obi, visited the university’s Agbani campus to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the alleged development.
However, the South-East Zone of the National Association of Nigerian Students has demanded that the university be shut down immediately until further notice in order to allow for a thorough inquiry into what caused the outbreak of the odd ailment.
In a statement titled: “Call to shut down Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) immediately,” NANS Zonal Coordinator, Chidi Nzekwe, warned that it would not watch the lives and welfare of its students endangered.
Nzekwe stated that the leadership of the NANS Zone F-Southeast expresses their deepest concern and utmost dismay over the frequent and tragic deaths in ESUT.
The statement reads,“Our investigations have shown a high level of negligence on the part of the school administration, ranging from non-functional student clinic, which is a major factor for the unfortunate death of our students.
“In the light of these disturbing findings, the leadership of NANS Zone F has decided to order the immediate shutdown of the institution from tomorrow, August 24, 2023, till further notice.
“This action is necessary to allow us to engage in extensive meetings with relevant stakeholders including the university management, medical experts, security agencies, and student representatives.
“Failure to shut down the institution with immediate effect, we will be compelled to escalate our actions and the university management should get ready to contend with the armless battalion of Nigerian students in the zone.
“The leadership of NANS Zone F is committed to protecting the rights and welfare of Nigerian students. We will not stand idly while the lives and welfare of our students are endangered. As we seek a quick intervention to this crisis, we urge all our students in ESUT to return to their respective homes where they will be safe till further notice.
“May the souls of our dear departed students Rest in peace.”
However, the Public Relations Officer of the University, Ikechukwu Ezianioma, in an interview, described the rumours and reports as fake, insisting that there was no strange Illness in ESUT.
He said, “The Commissioners of Health, Education and Secretary to the State Government, with a whole lot of other government officials came to the university today and after check, they discovered that the reports circulating were false.
“So, I would advise you to contact the commissioner of health and he will be in a better position to tell you whether there is such or not. All I can tell you now is that there is no strange Illness killing students in ESUT.”