Tribal leaders call for #UOG VC to step down

By on August 31, 2015
Dr Gairo Onagi

UOG VC, Dr. Gairo Onagi

The Okiyufa and Asaroyufa tribes of Eastern Highlands Province have called on University of Goroka vice-chancellor, Gairo Onagi, to step down in a bid to avoid prolonging the students’ boycott of classes.

Okiyufa tribal chief and former Goroka mayor, Koni Sari, told students, academic staff, parents and police last Friday that Mr Onagi must quit and the university council dissolved.

“During Mr Onagi’s tenure, there have been eight student unrests, as well as boycott of classes and strikes. It shows that something is wrong within the UOG administration,” Mr Sari said.

“The students are part of the institution. When they protest they know that things are not right.
“We support the students, we want the current VC to go and the university council dissolved,” he added.

Last Thursday, police beat many students and locked up several as they were marching to the Goroka National Park to inform the public that they were unhappy with Dr Onagi’s administration of the university. The students were wearing white T-shirts with ‘No Retreat, No Surrender’ printed on them.

As the students were approaching the park police closed in and commanded them to retreat to the campus since the police hierarchy did not approve the public rally.

Police fired several rounds of teargas canisters and warning shorts into the air, forcing the students to disperse and run in all directions. Opportunists capitalized on the mayhem by hurting some students, according to eyewitnesses.

Some students were picked up and taken to the police station and locked up, among them were four female students from Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

The students representative council president, Chris Ambai, and two Jiwaka students were admitted at the Goroka Hospital for injuries sustained during the siege.

An undisclosed number of students were treated and discharged on the same day. Some students returned to the campus and damaged windows, computers and furniture.

On Friday, tribal leaders and students flocked to the UOG campus to request Mr Onagi to step down.

Via – Post Courier (August 31, 2105).

Michael Koma

Michael Koma

Journalist at Post Courier
Michael is a journalist with the Post Courier and based in the Highlands.
Michael Koma

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About Michael Koma

Michael is a journalist with the Post Courier and based in the Highlands.

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