Nigeria University shut down as students protest of slain colleagues

By IndepthAfrica
In Nigeria
Oct 9th, 2012
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THE situation surrounding the killing of the four students of the University of Port Harcourt worsened on Tuesday evening, as students of the institution, led by the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), stormed Omuokiri-Aluu, burned houses and forced the closure of the school.

Matters went out of hands when members of NANS from institutions in the South-South and South-East organised a protest, demanding justice for the murdered students.

Speaking during the protest, South-East and South-South coordinator of NANS, Iyere Prosper Onono, said they would not leave until either the vice chancellor, Professor Joseph Ajienka, or Governor Rotimi Amaechi addressed them.

However, when the vice chancellor attempted to address the protesting students, he was booed and sachets of water were thrown at him.

Situations got worse when the students marched over to the community where the students were killed and set a few houses on fire.

In response to the escalating crisis, the university, speaking through its public relations officer, Dr William Wodi, announced the indefinite closure of its campuses, adding that the school would remain closed until normalcy returned.

The number of houses torched could not be immediately ascertained at the time of filing this report.

Police charge 11 to court

Meanwhile 11 persons suspected to be part of the mob that killed the four students have been charged to a High Court in Port Harcourt.

The state Police Commissioner, Mohammed Ndabawa, who made this known on Tuesday when the Executive Secretary of the National Human rights Commission, Professor Ben Angwe and his team visited him at the police headquarters in Port Harcourt, said a total of 13 persons had, so far, been arrested in connection with the incident.

Represented by deputy commissioner of police, Thomas Etomi, the Rivers police boss said two persons out of the 13 were kept behind to aid police investigation.

Senate tasks security agencies

Worried by the murder of four students of the university on Friday, the Senate, on Tuesday, directed security agencies to apprehend the killers.

This followed a resolution arrived at during a motion sponsored by Senator Ayogu Eze, condemning the manner the three male students of the University of Port-Harcourt and their friend were brutally murdered in the full glare of a cheering crowd.

The Senate, therefore, ordered the police and other security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of the crime, including the spectators captured on video and try them for murder.

Eze, in the motion, informed that the lynching and burning of the three students was dehumanising and unacceptable.

Senate President, David Mark, condemned the act, adding that the attacks showed how incapable the police were in securing lives, having failed in their duty of apprehending the perpetrators.

Meanwhile, the bereaved mother of Chiadika Biringa, in a petition addressed to the Senator Mark, said “we do not want this thing to be swept under the carpet like most investigations. We seek the help and intervention of the Senate to ensure that justice is done. Justice is the only thing that can assuage the pains and emotional traumas consuming us and clear the name of our son, so that he can rest in peace.”

Reps summon IGP over killings

The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, summoned the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Muhammed Abubakar, over the recent attack on students of Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, Adamawa State and last Friday’’s murder of four students of the University of Port Harcourt, over allegation of theft and rape.

The police chief is expected to face the House Committee on Police Affairs, “to explain the perceived late or outright absence of response of the police and other security agencies while the attacks lasted.”

The resolution to summon the IGP was sequel to a motion moved by Honourable Abubakar Wamba, who condemned the killings.

The House observed a minute silence in honour of the deceased students and resolved to set up a visitation panel to visit Mubi, Port Harcourt, and, by extension, Maiduguri, where over 30 people, including soldiers were killed on Monday.

NANS gives FG, Rivers ultimatum

NANS has given the federal and the Rivers State government 48-hour ultimatum to apprehend the perpetrators of the killing of undergraduates of the University of Port Harcourt.

The students’ body described the killings as “inhumane, barbaric and uncalled for.”

The body, in a statement signed by its national public relations officer, Clement Olusegun, threatened a showdown with the Federal Government if it failed to meet its demand by the expiration of ultimatum.

Mubi killings: Police arrest 30 suspects

No fewer than 30 suspects have been arrested by the police in connection with the killing of over 40 students of the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi.

Informed police sources disclosed to the Nigerian Tribune that out of the 30 arrested suspects, three of them were students, 12 confirmed Boko Haram suspects; while others were involved in the killing.

The source revealed that two of the students were from the Federal Polytechnic, Bida, while the other one was a student of Federal University of Technology, Yola.
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