Akwa Ibom govt shuts school after violent students’ protest

NIGERIA: Nigerian police force
Nigerian police force used to illustrate the story

Akwa Ibom government has shut down a secondary school in Uyo, the state capital, after the students went on a violent protest on Wednesday, attacking passers-by and motorists.

The school, Government Technical College, located in the heart of Uyo, has gained notoriety for such protests.

A police chief said to have been attacked by the rampaging student has been hospitalised.

11 students have been arrested so far over the incident, the police told PREMIUM TIMES.

“Government Technical College, Ewet, Uyo, is hereby shut down indefinitely and all the students are advised to vacate the school premises with immediate effect,” a government statement said Thursday morning.

“Staff of the college are however advised to continue to report for duty,” the statement added.

READ ALSO: Police officer kills man at wedding attended by state governor

The police spokesperson in Akwa Ibom, Nnudam Fredrick, said the police officers drafted to the scene of the protest were attacked by the students.

“The DPO in-charge of the area was attacked by the students, as I speak with you he is still in the hospital,” Mr Fredrick said.

The police spokesperson said the cause of the students’ protest is unknown. “That’s why investigation is ongoing, so that we will be able to unravel what caused the protest,” he said.

“Two teachers were wounded, they also damaged some property in the school.”

The state government said the arrested students would be charged either in regular or juvenile courts.

The government said it has placed on indefinite suspension 34 students suspected to be the masterminds of the “recurrent ugly incidents” in the school.

It said the affected students “will not return to our school system until their cases have been reviewed”.

Students of the college would pay the cost of the damages incurred during the protest when the school resumes, the government said.

Vehicular traffic was disrupted for more than an hour along a major road in Uyo on Valentine’s Day when a similar protest broke out in Uyo High School, Uyo.

Apart from Government Technical College and Uyo High School, another school notorious for violence within the Uyo metropolis is Government Secondary School, Etoi.

Senior secondary school certificate examinations are scheduled to begin in March. It is unclear, for now, how the examinations would be conducted in the college that has been shut down.

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