By Emma Una
CALABAR — THREE students of the University of Calabar, UNICAL, were Wednesday evening, hit by stray bullets from the rifle of a security officer of the university.
The accidential discharge happened following an inconclusive Student Union Government election contested by four candidates: Emmanuel Akobi, Ajang Emmanuel, Ilefa Austin and Afo Nelson.
According to a student who functioned as observer in the election, Ekere Sylvanus, a third year political science student, trouble started when some of the students, who registered to vote, could not find their names on the register.
“Some students who registered could not find their names on the voters register and the electoral officer who was assigned to conduct the election by the Vice Chancellor asked them to wait in a queue.
“The number grew to about 300 and at 3 pm the election ended as scheduled making the affected students to insist they should be allowed to vote.
“The protest by the students could not persuade the electoral officer to change his mind. He insisted that the closing time for the election was 3pm and nothing would make him allow the students on the queue to vote.
“He then took the ballot boxes and headed towards the Old Senate Chamber for vote count but the students on the queue followed him, forcing him to change his course towards the New Arts Theatre
“It was in the process that one of the security men holding a rifle moved backwards to protect the electoral officer falling into a ditch and his gun began to discharge in the process.
“Three students were hit by stray bullets from the gun causing a stampede in the main campus of the university.”
“The affected students were then taken to Hall Five for first aid before being taken to hospital”
There has been no statement from the University on the incident and Mr Boniface Adie, the Chief Security Officer of the University was not in the office when Vanguard visited and several calls on his phone were not answered.