Akwa Ibom government has waded into the crisis that followed the expulsion of a final year student of the state-owned university after his Facebook post was seen to be improper by the institution.
Criticism had greeted the expulsion of Iniobong Ekpo, a final year student from the department of agricultural engineering, Akwa Ibom State University after he made a post in which he appealed to the governor to keep the promises he made to the University during a convocation ceremony.
The registrar of the university, John Udoh had alleged in a letter to the student that he had violated the university’s matriculation oath by making the post that appeared on his Facebook wall in which the university accused him of gross misconduct.
The expulsion resulted in a threat of litigation by human rights activists who accuse the university of stifling freedom of expression and turning the institution into a glorified secondary school.
However, during the last state executive council meeting on Wednesday and presided over by Governor Udom Emmanuel, the meeting resolved that the student be recalled by the university immediately.
The state governor had denied any involvement in the expulsion of the student saying it was purely a matter for the University and had moved to set up a five-member committee headed by Idongest Etiebet, commissioner for education to ascertain the immediate and remote causes which led to the expulsion of the student.
The decision of the state executive council was contained in a statement signed by Ini Ememobong, commissioner for information and strategy, and made available to the media in Uyo, the state capital.
The meeting also approved the inauguration of a flyover constructed by the state government to ease traffic within the state capital near the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital be inaugurated in addition to declaring August 21 as the state coconut day “when 300,000 nuts will be planted to boost coconut production in preparation for the start of operation of the coconut oil refinery.”
In addition, the meeting also pegged the maximum age for admission into secondary schools in the state at 12 years saying it is meant to curb the cultism surge in secondary schools.
According to the commissioner, the investigation has revealed that the surge is caused mainly by overaged students who are on a mission of mass recruitment of students into cult groups adding however that any student above this age with a genuine reason will have their parents sign an undertaking of good behaviour before their admission.