From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
Parents of the late David Ogbonna, a student who allegedly committed suicide at a hostel in Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, have rejected claims that he took his life due to a hike in school fees.
David, a 200 level student of the Department of Industrial Physics, was found on a wardrobe in one of the male hostels inside the University premises dangling with a rope round his neck on August 20.
Mother of the deceased Esther Ogbonna who spoke on behalf of the family during a meeting with management of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka said media reports attributing the cause of death to hike in school fees were misleading and diversionary, even as she commended the management of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka for the steps taken so far to unravel the mystery behind the death of their son.
The Acting University Public Relations Officer, Chika Eneh, said in a statement that the university community was saddened by the death of the student while the management and the Nigerian Police Force have consequently launched investigation into the alleged suicide act by the late student.
The parents of the late student, Pastor and Mrs Ogbonna, during the meeting with university management, council and the SUG affirmed that hike in school fees wouldn’t have been the reason for their son’s death as they provided everything he needs.
Mrs Ogbonna revealed that her late son was hardworking, having worked in tailoring and the laundry services to augment provisions from home. She said that her son also complained about his poor performance, as she recalled in one of her conversations with the late son where he expressed displeasure over one of his results and she advised him to buckle up in subsequent examinations to remedy the deficiency.
Disclosing that the university never hiked fees in the first instance, the Acting PRO said nevertheless that the management upon hearing the sad news, carried out due protocol by inviting the University’s Medical centre and the Nigerian Police Force who evacuated the body to the mortuary while investigation has commenced over the incident.
‘While the university management is relentless and keen in her investigation of this ugly incident, it is however disheartening that some media reports have already embarked on a mission to tarnish the university’s image disregarding the place of thorough investigation in journalism.
‘As we work assiduously in unraveling the cause of the unfortunate demise of late David who is the last child of his parents, it is important to note that his three (3) older siblings graduated from the departments of Medical Rehabilitation, Radiography and Anatomy, College of Health Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University.
‘The university management is deeply pained by this unfortunate incident in this citadel of learning and further calls on members of staff and students to remain calm as investigation is ongoing. Members of staff and students are encouraged to visit the Centre for Counseling and Career Development which was created on the heels of the assumption of the Vice-Chancellor and mandated to entertain issues, especially one that disturbs mental health,’ she said.
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