Vice Chancellor of Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Professor Alloysius Okolie, has debunked social media reports alledging that some students of the University died recently, at the University’s medical facility because of poor state of the facility, saying there was no death reported at the institution’s medical centre.
The Vice Chancellor, however confirmed that some students died recently from deaths that were unrelated.
He made this known on Friday, when a delegation of the Enugu State Government led by the Secretary to the State Government ,Prof. Chidiebere Onyia paid a fact finding visit to the University to ascertain the true position of the medical facility at the University.
The Vice Chancellor attributed the social media reports to politics by a factional group of the National Association of Nigerian Students(NANS) who were bent to drag the image of the University to the mud.
According to the Vice Chancellor , no student died in the University’s medical facility. He said that the report he received was the death of two students, one at GRA, Enugu; a report of a student that was found dead in a room with her boyfriend ,one died, one survived and the other report was the one that died in an accident. He added that there were three others; one who was sick and had been away for three months and died somewhere in Abia. Another one had terminal illness and died and the fifth one, a Corps member who was sick.” He reported and travelled home, and died in Yoruba land “, he said..
Prof. Okoli, who described the story as false and fabricated, advised people to be careful of what they report on social media. He commended the State Government government for being proactive to issues.
The Vice Chancellor said the reports were fabricated as a result of the face- off between the factional groups of students union.
“We were disturbed when we got this news. It is a false information people peddled. If you want to politick, take it off the campus domain. We just finished last NANS election in July, but the contestants quarrelled. What they did was to use ESUT as testing ground “, he said
On the state of the medical centre, Professor Okolie said that they have been providing support for the clinic and students have been making use of it.
“Before I assumed office, that place was virtually non -existing but we decided that there will be Primary healthcare and what we did was to fullly refurbish that place and we have been providing for the clinic and we have evidence of the expenditure, including the purchase of drugs and manpower.
“We set up a committee comprising of students’ leadership, dean of students affairs including medical officers that will be reporting to the management on day to day activities of the clinic.
“Before I assumed office, they had already appointed medical officers who are equally competent. Having done that, ,we asked them that we needed more medical officers, though they were having pressures on resources. We equally told them two days ago, as you are having challenges, let’s have two more medical students, two nurses, one pharmacist and one medical lab”, Okolie said .
Earlier, the Secretary to the state Government, Prof. Chidiebere Onyia said that they were on the visit as a result of the concern they have about the medical facility at the University ; to find out the verasity of a few comment made on the social media through the National Association of the Nigerian Students ,NANS .
“His Excellency is concerned and asked us to visit here and the verasity of the few of the comments made in the social media through NANS.
“One thing I can assure students is that His Excellency is determined in ensuring that the University becomes a world class University and security of life is sacrosanct. We are going to work deligently to ensure that.
“We want to assure parents that we are very dedicated in ensuring that ESUT is conducive for learning , safe, proud to have our children there,” Onyia said.
He disclosed that a committee to look into the health status and some of the gaps had been set up and the reports will be submitted by next week with all the recommendations.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Health ,Prof. Emmanuel Ikechulwu Obi described the situation as one of the unverified reports on social media . He said that immediately they received the report , they swung into action.
“We asked our infordemic, the state epidemiology unit and department of public health to look into the matter,The state has extensive disease Surveillance network in all the local government.
” The moment we got the report also, we sent our officers who had investigated and reported. The ministry did it’s own preliminary investigation on the event and contacted the ESUT management to know the extent of the report given. What we have now is singular and independent cases of persons who sometimes identified as students of ESUT, who have lost their lives from varying conditions .
“We have independent and unrelated cases of death that included some students of ESUT and we are not dealingû with epidemic”,Obi said.
In a brief remark, the students’ union president ,Donald Okeiuwe, thanked the state government for its show of concern and support to the University. He said that no student died at the University’s medical facility as falsely reported on social media
Author: Maureen Ikpeama