The African Students Education Support Initiative (ASESI) has cautioned Nigerian students against negative use of social media.
ASESI’s Executive Director, in a statement on Friday in Abuja, said that it was unethical and a mark of cluenesses for a student to hurl insults on a vice chancellor via social media or any other platform.
A student of Akwa Ibom State University (AKSU), Ikot Akpaden, Joy Nkanang, was recently suspended “indefinitely” from the school for allegedly calling the university vice chancellor ‘foolish’ on Facebook.
The student was in her second year in the Department of Performing Arts before her suspension on May 9.
“The recent disciplinary action meted out to Nkanang a 200L scholar of the Department of Performing Arts, AkSU by the disciplinary committee of the same institution has gotten the attention of ASESI.
“After having a long chat with the scholar, I informed her that there is no justification taking to social media abusing her Vice Chancellor Prof Eno Ibanga as being a “foolish VC” .
“The advent of social media if properly utilised by Nigerian scholars could serve as a medium for intellectual engagement amongst colleagues in other parts of the world and to perform researches in the course of study and not for negative usage like abuse and disrespect on constituted authorities.
“We encourage scholars to follow due process in expressing grievances and situations which seems unpleasing than resulting to abuse through social media.
“The academic institution is expected upon scholars’ graduation, to certify scholars in character and learning; therefore, good ethical behavior is highly expected of all scholars to enable institutions to award you her certifications.”
Obasi, however, appealed to the management of the institution to reconsider a lighter punishment rather than suspension on Nkanang.
He said that such punishment would further serve as a warning to her and others who might take lightly unethical conducts in any citadel of learning.
More so, speaking on behalf of all the four zonal coordinators of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), its National Chairman, Comrade Umar Farouk of IBB University Lapia, Niger State condemned the act of a Nigerian Students abusing or insulting her Vice Chancellor on a social media.
Umar argued that a student who could abuse his/her teacher equally could slap his/her own father which invariably was not a good moral conduct.
The chairman of NANS zonal coordinators added that no genuine student leader would support such misconduct.
The duo appealed to the vice chancellor, as a father, to tamper justice with mercy as expulsion would be too heavy to bear.
They begged that Nkanang be recalled with a lesser punishment.