The students of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka have protested the death of one of their colleagues, Mr Francis Mmadubuobi, a final year student of the Department of Applied Microbiology and Brewing.
The students alleged that lack of medical facilities in the school contributed to the death of Mmadubuobi.
The deceased student was said to have been taken to the institution’s medical centre after he collapsed on the court while playing basketball with his colleagues last weekend at the premises of the university, but was said to have died as a result of lack of attention.
The students while protesting his death called on the school’s management to equip its Medical Centre or scrap it immediately.
They marched in their thousands from the university’s campus to Arroma Junction, Awka, a journey of over four kilometres, carrying placards with various inscriptions.
Some of the placards read: “Unizik medical, a death trap” and “UNIZIK, tell us what killed Francis, among others.
The students, all dressed in black, were equally chanting songs, meant to provoke the management of the institution.
According to the Departmental President, Mr Prosper Chisimdi, who narrated the situation as he witnessed it, “I feel bitter about everything. Francis, our course mate slumped while playing basketball in school. We rushed him to the school clinic.
“On getting to the place, no single doctor was there to attend to him. The nurse there couldn’t even attend to him and he was right before us dying. After many hours, a female doctor came and was looking for her apparatus. No oxygen was in the clinic.
“We rushed Francis to Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital in the school ambulance. I was inside the ambulance holding Francis foot, it was damn cold, his eyes were already open. I was scared, I knew only miracle could happen because Francis had no impulse.
“On getting to Amaku General Hospital, the doctors said it was already late, Francis had no life in him again. They left him unattended, we felt it has happened already.”
The students warned the management of the institution against taking any form of sanction against their protesting colleagues as the action was engineered by the sense of loss they all felt.
But in his reaction, the Director, Information, Public Relations and Protocol, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Dr Emmanuel Ojukwu, who spoke on behalf of the institution, refuted the allegation, saying Francis had already died before he was rushed to the school’s clinic.
Ojukwu, in a press release, said: “The deceased was quickly rushed to the University Medical Centre, but had no pulse upon examination.
“This means that he had died before being brought to the University Medical Centre.
“He was thereafter taken to Teaching Hospital Amaku for further attempt at salvaging an already bad situation. He was without pulse and confirmed dead.”
He called on the students to maintain calm, while appealing to them to demonstrate with caution. He prayed for the repose of the soul of Mmadubuobi.