Blackout: Nigerian university reschedules exam over students’ protest

Usman Abdullah
Usman Abdullah
American University of Nigeria

The American University of Nigeria (AUN), Adamawa State, has postponed the semester examinations for undergraduate students by three days.

The examination earlier scheduled to commence on Saturday, 27 April, will now begin on Tuesday, 30 April, said the university spokesperson, Yusuf Mohammed.

Mohammed said in a statement that the postponement followed a peaceful protest staged by students of the university on Wednesday against the prolonged power outage being experienced in their classes and dormitories.

He said the students requested that their residence halls and reading rooms be powered for longer hours so they can prepare for their examinations and have more flexibility in their exam schedules.

University responds

“In a swift response, the university management shifted the start of final semester exams by three days,” the spokesman said.

“The students lamented the human and environmental cost of the prolonged outage and called on the authorities to address the situation.”

The Yola Electricity Distribution Company (YEDC), which served Adamawa State, where the university is based, announced a disruption in power on Tuesday. The company said four of its towers have been vandalised along Jos-Gombe 330kV transmission line.

“On the afternoon of April 22nd, 2024, TCN’s engineers conducting fault tracing following a line tripping discovered that towers 288, 289, 290, and 291 had been vandalised,” it said.

“We are committed to resolving this issue as swiftly as possible, we therefore ask for your patience and cooperation during this difficult time.”

Other measures

The spokesperson also noted that the university management has also halted the regular teaching activities to afford students more time to prepare for their exams and installation of solar power lighting and cooling systems in the library complex.

He said the institution also assured that it would provide a minimum of five hours of electricity supply until public power is restored.

It also pledged to continue to dialogue with the body of elected student representatives, the Student Government Association (SGA).

The statement further reads in part: “The students also received the assurances of the goodwill and solidarity of the university president, DeWayne Frazier, who was away in Cairo, Egypt, where he attended the Association of American Universities and Colleges Overseas International Conference.

“The students were received by senior management staff present, including the VP for Finance, Nnenna Mosugu, Interim Provost Professor Adewale James, Interim Registrar and VP Administration, Mr. Daniel Okereke and Dean of Student Affairs, Byron Bullock.

“The management commended them for their responsible conduct and smart articulation of matters of concern, while requesting that they maintain a peaceful approach as the administration is dedicated to ensuring their overall well-being.”

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