Abandoned NDDC scholars protest in London

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Scholarship beneficiaries of the Niger Delta Development Commission on Monday protested their alleged abandonment by the commission.

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They said the NDDC had stopped paying their tuition and upkeep allowances.

The protest, which held in London, was posted on the protesting scholars’ Twitter handle, @2019Nddc.

They also complained that they risked being deported from the United Kingdom where they are schooling.

They lamented that their school fees and maintenance funds had not been paid one year after they were awarded scholarships.

During the protest, which held at the Nigeria High Commission in London, the aggrieved scholars displayed placards with various inscriptions.

Among the inscriptions are ‘NDDC has failed us’, ‘we have been thrown out of school’, ‘we risk deportation’, ‘must we protest to get paid, and ‘scholarship not suffership (sic)’.

While some of the protesters were seen sitting on the floor, others held the placards standing.

In a video of the protest shared online, the protesters insisted on speaking with the President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), or the Minister of the NDDC, Godswill Akpabio.

But an official of the high commission, who could not immediately be identified, appealed to the protesters for calm.

He said, “My integrity will be at stake if I call somebody else to act as the minister on the telephone. It will not solve your problem. What matters most is that we are giving you our words.”

But the protesters chorused that previous promises made to them by the Nigerian government were not kept.

In a bid to calm the protesters, another official of the commission added, “We are the representatives of the President here. We are here to work for you. We are looking for a solution. Let us continue to communicate. We will address your issue.”

The protesters later agreed to suspend the protest for two hours for officials of the commission to communicate with the Nigerian authorities and give them feedback.

READ ALSO: We do menial jobs, sleep at train stations –Abandoned NDDC scholars

The officials, however, rejected the submission, saying that they would report and get back to the protesters “later”.

The protesting Nigerians insisted that they would not accept the half school fees or upkeep being proposed by the Nigerian government.

One of the protesters said, “We told them that we want to speak with the presidency. We have given them two hours. After two hours we are going to converge here again to get updates.

“So far, we have had the corporation of the police. Initially, it was frustrating. We apologise to Nigerians that have other legitimate businesses to do here. We apologise for the inconvenience. This is necessary and it is what the NDDC has pushed us to do.”

Punch


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