Anambra University students protest killing, rape of colleagues

The Deputy Vice Chancellor said two students were killed by criminals.

The students of Anambra State University, Igbariam campus, on Wednesday took to the streets to protest the alleged killing of two of their colleagues by people suspected to armed bandits.

The students, who wielded various dangerous weapons as early as 8 a.m., blocked the Onitsha-Enugu Expressway, making it impossible for motorists to pass for more than five hours.

They alleged that the high rate of robbery and rape in the area, especially in hostels in the host community, was no longer acceptable.

The President of the Students Union Government, Casmir Obiakor, told newsmen that the problems in the school had become unbearable for them.

“We are all living in fear because we don’t know who the next victim will be. I was kidnapped last week by gunmen too and I was just released on Monday.

“Something needs to be done; the security in this place is nothing to write home about and moreover, the communities in this place do not help matters, they have their own vigilance groups but they are not effective,” he said.

A victim of the robbery who preferred anonymity claimed that the bandits collected his last N15,000 and handset and that he was beaten to coma.

The robbery took place on Tuesday between 7 p.m. and midnight without help from any quarter, the victim said.

In a reaction, the institution’s Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Professor Obiajulu Obikeze, told newsmen that the protest was a way of the students creating awareness on their plight.

“We are having security challenges in this area, not on the campus but outside it. Last night, a gang of robbers stormed their hostel, raped and wounded many of our students and killed two of them.

“This action has become constant, everybody is becoming helpless and we believe that is why the students are creating such awareness. We are begging them not to be destructive as the problems will soon be over,” Mr. Obikeze said.

Reacting, the state police command said the information at its disposal was that the incident was a clash between rival cult groups.

The command’s spokesman, Emeka Chukwuemeka, said the command had yet to receive any report on the death of the two students allegedly killed by the hoodlums.

Mr. Chukwuemeka said the command was doing its best to calm the protesting students to ensure that hoodlums did not hijack the process.

Meanwhile, Governor Peter Obi, who met with the protesting students, appealed to them to return to their classrooms, assuring them that measures would be taken to flush out the criminals.

“No individual or group of persons will be allowed to destabilise the relative peace in the state. We will take measures to flush out those who have no genuine business on campus, masquerading as students,” Mr. Obi said.

(NAN)


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