ABUS: Trouble Looms Over Pocket Money
The Abia State Government approved N30,000 to support Abia State University (ABSU) students, who are indigenes of the state, following the scrapping of the COVID-19 pandemic fee after outrage from parents and students. However, students who are non-indigenes believe they also deserve support from the state government in the face of hardship, reports FORTUNE AMAECHI (ABSU).
Following the scrapping of the N25,000 COVID-19 pandemic prevention fee, which resulted to outrage among students of Abia State University (ABSU), the Governor, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, promised students of the institution who are indigenes N30,000 each. He termed it ‘pocket money’.
Ikpeazu explained that ‘the pocket money’ was to help the students cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
He said: “I have directed those in appropriate places to start paying the N30,000 to each Abia student in the institution as further support to them, their parents and guardians in this very difficult moment of economic downturn caused by the global health crisis.
” The guidelines of the payment are that those students who have paid their fees in full for the 2019/2020 academic session, those students who are yet to pay their school fees for the 2nd semester of 2019/2020 and are not owing any previous fees and those students in their final year and who have paid their fees in full for 2019/2020 academic session and are not owing the university any fees will have the N30,000 credited to them.”
Thus, students of Abia origin have started receiving the ‘pocket money’.
However, this new development has elicited mixed reactions from students who are indigenes, mixed indigenes and non-indigenes. Some students think that the decision taken by the governor is fair while some think it is biased.
Adimchi Favour, a 500-Level student, said the government should have given non-indigenes some sort of support to cushion the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I really do not like what is happening. As a final year student, the governor should have at least done something for us, even if we are not indigenes,” she said.
Joy Joseph, a 200-Level student, said: “It is not fair. The truth must be told. Though we are not indigenes, we are still students of Abia State University. The governor could have given us financial assistance too, even if the money will not be up to that of the indigenes. He should please have a rethink.”
Another student, Ifeanyi Victor, who is in final year, said it was unfair. He complained of segregation and bias.
“This shows segregation. I am not an indigene now, I am not entitled to the N30,000. It is not fair.”
Nwazota Chikamso, a 400-Level student, said: “But when we were asked to pay the pandemic prevention fee, it was for everybody, there was no sidelining. Why is that the N30,000 is for only indigenes? That does not show fairness at all.”
Mary Chukwuma, a 300-Level student, wants the government to look into the matter and consider non-indigenes.
“I feel the governor should please consider us because we are all students and we also have financial difficulty,” she said.
Another student Bayo Davis said: “Some students feel cheated and the anger is based on the fact that they pay all dues and fees required but nothing in return. Even though they will not get up to what the indigenes are getting, they ask for something to be done for them. Some of these students are mixed indigenes. They feel pained due to this development. So, the governor should have a rethink.”
Ifeoma Charles, a 200-Level student, said: “Governor has to do something for us that our mothers are from Abia State. We also deserve something. At least they should appreciate some of us who left our state institutions and came here.”
Akachi Praise, a 200-Level student, is unhappy. However, he urges the state government to address the situation. “Honestly, I am not happy because I know how far that money would have gone for me. I think the governor should consider doing something for those who are non-indigenes or those who have mixed origin.
“I still thank the governor for having the interest of students at hand and I hope one day he will do something for everyone,” he said.
Noble Ejike, a 300-Level student said: “When we were asked to pay the pandemic prevention fee, there was never segregation and the truth is that we were all going to pay. So how come now the N30,000 that was promised is just for indigenes, it is not fair. It is just a biased system we have here in this country.”
Faith Adams, a 300-Level student, said: “This is just not right, at least every student of the school should be entitled to something no matter how little, not only the indigenes of the state.
‘’The inequality that we talk about, this is it. The governor should listen to the voice of the masses that is the non-indigenes and do something about this.”
Another student Kemi Stanley, who is in her final year said: “Do we know that this can spring up jealousy among students? From jealousy it graduates to hatred and strife begins; that is why the little things matter. What about students who are sponsoring themselves in school, students who have no parents, students whose parents are not well to do and the students in this category are not indigenes, what then is expected of them? Honestly, I speak on behalf of those who are not indigenes and I solicit for the governor to consider us.”
Ngozi Ugochukwu, a 500 level student, said: “ I will first of all thank the governor for really doing this, he doesn’t know what he has done for students especially those sponsoring themselves here in school. I also want to plead with him to find something to do for non-indigenes, that is my plea.”
Chinaza Nze, a 300-Level student, lauded the school management and the governor for having implemented this.
Benjamin Agoha, a 200-Level student, said: “Considering how hard the economy is, the governor decided to do this, I thank him and also the school management for having carried this out. May God bless them and we love them.”
Another student, Idinma Nelson said: “I almost grateful to the governor and the school management for keeping their promise. By next session now, I would have saved N30,000 for something else.”
Uchenna Lovina, a 400-Level student, expressed her profound joy for the new development. She said: “Governor, I thank you oo, you have done well and may the good Lord bless you.”
A 200-Level student, Ifeanyi Glory thanked the governor. She noted that this was a gift to her. She said: “This money will go a long way in clearing some of my money issues here in school and in that process my parents will be relieved of some burden.”
Uchechi Benedicta, a 400- Level student said: “Well, I did not get the money but I would have if only my parent’s state of origin were switched. Nevertheless, I would love to thank the governor for actually keeping to his promise, this shows a better tomorrow for Abians.I would also want to use this medium to thank the Governor for all he has done for Abia State.”
Another 400-Level student, Steven Frank, said: “The governor has done well. I want to thank him for all he does for the students as well as the state. I am not an indigene but that does not mean I should not appreciate this good work of his. Well done sir!”
Michael Eze, a 200-Level student, said: “First of all, I want to thank the governor for implementing his promise but I also want to plead with him that he should consider the non-indigenes and do something for them.”
Thelma Samuel, a 400-Level student, said: “God bless the governor and the school management for doing this for us. We appreciate this kind and thoughtful gesture towards us, they will not lack any good thing. This money will go a long way for us and even ease the stress of our parents.”
Nwizu Daniel, a 400 level student, also said: “The governor has done well, at least we the students of this prestigious university will say they have benefited something from his governance. I also want to thank the governor for what he did. It’s not easy to say a thing and actually keep to it especially when you are at the helm of affairs, but he has proved me and many people like myself wrong.”
Ernest Sochima, Student Union Public Relations Officer, while lauding the governor, urged him to consider other students who are non-indigenes.
“Well, the governor has done well to keep his promise of the N30,000 to students who are indigenes of Abia State. For some people, they have started enjoying it and for some others it will be till next semester but it’s all good. I also, want to use this opportunity to thank the governor for all he has been doing for the state, we appreciate it and we say well done to him. In the same vein, I want to also plead with the governor to consider those who are non-indigenes too,” he said