The police said it did nothing wrong in its response to the UNIUYO crisis.
The Commissioner of Police in the State, Umar Gwadabe, confirmed the death of the student in an interview with a correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Uyo.
Mr. Gwadabe said that contrary to speculations that three students died, the police could confirm the death of one student.
He said that 45 students had been arrested by the police in connection with the protest.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported the confirmed death of one student in the Wednesday protest. Residents of the area where the protest was carried out said police fired live bullets and tear gas to disperse the protesters, and that the dead could have been hit by one of the bullets. The police boss did not however confirm if it was his officers’ bullets that killed the student.
The commissioner said that but for the timely intervention of the police, the protest would have engulfed the whole town.
“The police is duty bound to stop the protest from escalating from campus into town as the students tried to advance into the city.
“In this circumstance, the police did not do anything wrong,” he said.
The offices of the vice-chancellor, deputy vice-chancellor (administration) and council affairs unit were razed by the students. A visit to the city campus of the university by a News Agency of Nigeria correspondent showed that 12 vehicles, some of them owned by the university were destroyed during the protest.
The protesters also destroyed equipment in the Exams and Records Unit, Finance and Accounts, Internal Audit and Cash Office of the institution.
The Computer Maintenance Department of the institution was also not spared, as hard discs and other facilities were removed by the students.
The peaceful protest over hike in transport fares, which started early on Wednesday, degenerated, resulting to the destruction of property.
While speaking, the Chairman of the UNIUYO Branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Anyim Nwachukwu, said that he was not aware of what exactly led to the protest.
Mr. Nwachukwu said that when the crisis started, he and some lecturers “managed to escape from campus”.
He said that the union had not yet been briefed by management.
Apart from the radio announcement issued on Wednesday night announcing the closure of the school, the university management has yet to issue any official statement on the crisis.