Residents said police used live bullets.
Police shot and killed at least one student of the University of Uyo Wednesday as a demonstration by students over insufficient lecture venues and campus transit buses transportation system turned violent, witnesses said.
Some residents of the area said three students may have died after police fired live ammunitions into a crowd of protesting students. But the witnesses said they were certain of one casualty. Police authorities in Uyo could not be immediately reached for comments.
A school spokesperson, Godfrey Essien, said he was on leave and was piecing details of what actually happened.
Residents say the students, mainly of Science and Engineering faculties, went on rampage for several hours on Wednesday in protest of poor transportation system for students after authorities ordered the relocation of the Science faculty from the school’s temporary site along Ikpa Road to the permanent site at Nsukara Offot.
The new site lacks enough infrastructures to accommodate the relocating Science students, and the Engineering students who had moved in earlier, leading to frequent confrontations.
The Engineering students are said to occasionally bar the Science students from using the limited lecture rooms and school shuttles between the old and new campuses, about 10 kilometers apart.
N200 per day bus
The transfer of the Science students merely compounded the hardship already faced by students on the permanent site, situated along the road leading to the city’s new airport.
The tipping point for the students, according to residents, came after the Science students were ordered to pay N200 per day to use the campus shuttle buses, against the N1, 000 paid per semester by the Engineering students for the same service.
“The students just said they cannot have that again and they blocked the roads and everywhere,” the resident said.
Earlier reports said police fired tear gas at hundreds of students who barricaded the school’s entrances after forcing out security personnel.
A witness who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES said the students refused to leave their line as the hours wore on, insisting on being addressed by the school’s Vice Chancellor before dispersing.
After the police attack, furious students set the Vice Chancellor’s office alight, alongside the school’s security post and a hostel block.
The police attack came months after a similar incident Nasarawa state university where students were shot and killed allegedly by security forces drafted to quell a protest over lack of water.
No one has been punished for the Nasarawa killings months after, and no report has been delivered on an investigation ordered by the state government.