NO fewer than two students of the Nasarawa State Polytechnic, Lafia have been killed and several others injured as students of the institution protest government’s neglect.
Speaking to Tribune Online, the Public Relation Officer (PRO) of the Student Union Government (SUG), Jafaru Habibu, said the students decided to embark on the protest because one of their students was knocked down by a vehicle at around 9pm last night (Tuesday night).
He explained that “the incident has been reoccurring in the school for sometime because we have lost a lot of students and this sparked a lot of reactions from students and we decided to embark on a peaceful protest.”
Jafaru explained further that “while they were protesting the loss of their student on the Lafia- Akwanga highway, the police shot two of their students of which one died instantly while the other one has been rushed to the hospital.”
According to him “we are always paying all the fees the institution ask us to pay so they should also meet our demands, government has continued to turn deaf ears to our plea of constructing bumps along the school road.”
Another student, Zachary Memunat, who spoke to Tribune Online, said the government should immediately build the bumps adding that, it is wrong that government would wait for students to die before acting appropriately.
However, the management of the institution have blamed the incidents on the impatience of students.
The Registrar of the Polytechnic, Labani Joseph, while speaking to newsmen said, they had earlier appealed to the students to shelve their protest and go back to class saying that the management of the institution promised to look into the matter but the students paid deaf ears to their pleas.
He explained that, when the protest got to its peak, they had to invite the security operatives to calm down the situation, which led to the gun duel between the students and security operatives.
The Registrar, however, pronounced that, the school has been closed down indefinitely as a result of the crises.
Tribune Online reports that the students were seen burning tyres on the Lafia-Akwanga highway, causing a two-hour traffic gridlock along the way.
While the protest was on, the convoy of the Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, who was on transit to his state when his security details shut sporadically on air to disperse the protesters in order to pave way for their movement.
Speaking to journalists at the police headquarters in Lafia, the Deputy Commissioner of Police(DCP), Patrick Garba said he is yet to be fully briefed the on the incident adding that, none of his men has been indicted on the shooting.
He urged students to exercise restraints when approaching issues saying dialogue produces better results.