Oct 3rd, 2013 – Niger Delta Students On Government Scholarship Attacked Nigerian Embassy In Russia Over Lack Of Medical Care
Niger-Delta students on scholarship in Peoples Friendship University of Russia have justified their attack on the Nigerian Embassy in Russia.
In a statement released by one of the students, Okoriko Maxwell, he gave an account of the events that led to their action citing the nonchalant attitude towards one of their mates who was in dire need of medical assistance.
The statement reads: “We were angry because the executives of the students visited the embassy for dialogue, we also put calls through to the Consular notifying them that two students needed serious medical attention but the embassy refused to take any action or come to their aid even as they await operation.
“The embassy in a recent meeting represented by the Consular and Deputy Head of Missions promised that we should give them one week to contact the head of education in the Niger Delta Scholarship Office which we did but they have till date refused to give us the feedback. Mr. Raymond Ekpobodo on the 28th of January 2013 gave the embassy the sum of 442,971.62 rubles (more than 13 thousand dollars) belonging to the students as the remains of funds used in paying students tuition fee. This money was received by the consular.
“According to Mr. Raymond Ekpobodo, he was trusted by the former head of education in the programme, Mr. Patterson Ogon, to help him and pay stipends of students after which the receipt for the payment be given to the embassy because the man who was supposed to coordinate the students according to the former head of education did not meet the requirements of being awarded a contract, the embassy promised to add some money to the existing one which will be used for payment of students’ stipends, but for more than nine months, the embassy never accounted for this money even when we told them that we have not paid for medical insurance. We therefore demanded for this money to enable us take two of our students to the hospital which they never provided. Heaven can bear us witness that we have met with the embassy.”
“We tabled our problems for four time but they never bring this money to save the lives of these two students who are still unable to attend classes because of their ill-health.
“We destroyed the furniture in the embassy because, we saw the billboard of the Sokoto state governor very large in the reception hall of the embassy, as civilized students, we see it as betrayal, unpatriotic and uncalled for to hang the portrait of Governor Aliyu Wamako on the wall of the conference hall of the embassy.
“The Defence Attache of the Nigerian mission in Russia, Air Commodore OluRotimi A. Ogunjobi who was the only principal officer pleaded with us the students and did his best by giving us evacuation fee to enable us vacate the premises and transport ourselves home. In that regards, we decided to live the embassy, five students have already left as we were all about to live back to the school. But to our greatest Surprise, a group of police men numbering up to 30 and above drove in through the back door of the embassy, they forcefully arrested us into the police BLACK MARIA VAN, we were then 16 because five persons already left the embassy. That was why every news headline only accounts for 16.”
“The police released us after confirmation from the Rector of the university that we the affected students have no records of hooliganism, or any traceable crime record with the university coupled with the efforts and attestation of Patriotic Nigerians for our outstanding records since our arrival in the Russia Federation on the 17th of March 2011. We were released after 19 hours under detention.
“We appeal to the office to contact the University for Further Investigation about some false allegations which was directed against us. We are proud to state here that we have never exempted ourselves from school and the university is our witness.
“We therefore appeal to the president of the federal republic of Nigeria to terminate the appointment of Amb. Assam Ekanem Assam. He is unprofessional and lacks managerial qualities, apart from the fact that he relegated the embassy to the status of a police post.”