A student of the Kaduna State College of Education in Jema’a Local Government Area of the state was on Monday killed by security operatives and two others injured during a protest against school fees hike.
The police, in a statement late Monday evening, confirmed the incident.
Hundreds of the students had gathered at the school gate to protest the hike by the state government but met resistance from the security agents drafted to foil the protest.
A student who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES anonymously for fear of sanction said the school authorities had suspended academic activities till July 5 to prevent the students from protesting against the new fees.
One of the protesting students identified the deceased as Umar Buta. He said one other student, Emmanuel Nathaniel, sustained injuries from a stray bullet but was responding to treatment.
The student said the security agents, including soldiers, police and civil defence officers, shot into the air to disperse the protesters.
The student said most of his colleagues are from poor homes and cannot pay the new fees following the devastating effects of the coronavirus.
Mudi Tahir, the Sarkin Matasan (youth leader ) in Jama’a local government area, confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that one person was killed in the protest.
He said the incident was unacceptable and called on the authorities to act.
Mr Tahir, a former aide to Governor Nasir El-rufai, said the state government had earlier banned protest in the southern part of the state due to the volatile nature of the area.
He said this was because protest in the area usually escalated to violence.
“Youth in the area too must devise other means to address their grievances instead of participating in street protests that usually lead to religious conflicts,” Mr Tahir said.
“However, the state government must look into the complaints and reduce the school fees as demanded by the protesting students,” the governor’s former aide said.
The Provost of the College, Alexander Kure, confirmed the incident to reporters. He, however, said the protest was conducted on the highway and not in the school.
“The incident happened on the highway and not inside the school. I was told by the security that one student was killed and another injured,” the provost said.
The provost said the school was on mid-semester break and the students are expected to resume next Monday
The police spokesperson in Kaduna, Muhammed Jalige, later Monday evening issued a statement confirming the casualty.
Read the police statement below..
KADUNA POLICE PRESS RELEASE
CONFIRMATION OF INCIDENT AT COLLEGE OF EDUCATION GIDAN WAYA KAFANCHAN
NORMALCY HAS SINCE BEEN RESTORED AS CP CALL FOR CALM AND ASSURED THE STUDENTS AND SCHOOL MANAGEMENT OF DILIGENT INVESTIGATION INTO THE INCIDENT.
Today Monday 28th June, 2021 at about 0800hrs the Command was informed of the protest and road blockade by the students of College of Education Gidan waya Kafanchan over the recent increase in tuition fee by the Kaduna state Government.
On receipt of the information, the Command immediately dispatched Operatives to restore normalcy. The contingent professionally and successfully dispersed the protesters and warned them not to embark on further protest and road blockade considering the existing warning against such action, issued by the Kaduna state Police Command a fortnight ago.
However, at about 0930hrs, information has it that the students re-converged again and blocked the Gidan Waya – Kafanchan Federal Highway and were becoming unruly and riotous.
At a point the protesters blocked the convoy of a military sector Commander injuring him and one other. The situation resulted in a fracas where three (3) protesters were injured in attempt to use minimal force to disperse the riotous students. The victims were taken to the Hospital for medical attention but unfortunately one person died while receiving medical attention.
The Commissioner of Police Kaduna Command CP UM Muri urged the students to embrace dialogue as it is the best alternative way to express their grievances while assuring them of diligent investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the fracas that resulted in injuries to the students and the unfortunate loss of life.
ASP MUHAMMED JALIGE
POLICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
FOR COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
KADUNA STATE COMMAND