Tuesday, August 5, 2014

"We are starving & dying" - Bayelsa students in Russia say they've not received stipends in 14 months

24 medical students from Bayelsa state who are currently in Russia on scholarship from the Bayelsa state government yesterday August 4th held a protest in Kursk, Russia where they cried out over the non payment of their scholarship allowance in the last 14 months by the Bayelsa state Scholarship Board.

During the protest, the students said for the past 14 months, they have not received their allowances for books, medicals and even for winter clothing and coats for the 20 degree Kursk winter. Continue

They say several letters written by them to the Bayelsa state scholarship board, the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, the Governor of Bayelsa state, the Ministry of Education, and the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State have not yielded any result. They alleged that were actually threatened by the chairman of the Bayelsa State Scholarship Board, Evang. Hon. Foster Ogola, that they would be sent home if they continue to protest or complain.
The students in the video posted by Sahara Reporters said since they have been abandoned by their state government, they have tried working on farms and other places in a bid to make money for their upkeep but were arrested by the Russian police who said their Visa's do not permit them to work. They say as it stands now, they are likely not to resume for the next session in September since their fees have not been paid.
One of the students Amadanyo Adebapreye who spoke with Sahara reporters said 
"For a very long time now we have been going through really difficult financial situations and mentally challenging conditions due to non-payment of our tuition fees and 14 months without stipends. We have also tried to reach our state through the embassy of Nigeria in Moscow twice, first in February 2014, and just recently, July 14, 2014." he said.
The Nigerian Embassy in Moscow had tried to contact the state behalf of the students several times, but grew frustrated with the poor reception from the Bayelsa government.

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