By ANZAA MSONTER, BSU
Suspected cultists penultimate Saturday descended on the College of Education, Katisna-Ala, leaving, at least, two people dead, one injured and destroying structures on the campus.
Reports say it all started after a Tiv Day celebration by students of Tiv origin of the College during which a beauty contest was also held. The celebration itself ended by 5:00pm and students returned to their hostels.
However, at about 8:00pm, news arrived that an NCE3 student of the department of English Theatre, Vihishima Ikyum, was shot dead at the old dinning hall.
This development reportedly incensed the students who dragged the corpse to the security office where they torched some structures, accusing the security personnel of not doing their job.
On Monday, another NCE3 student, Ayatse Selumun Moses, of Political Science/Social Studies was shot dead at his girlfriend’s house.
Confirming the incident, an NCE3 student of the department of English/Political Science and President of the Students’ Union Government of the College, Clement Ogabo, said he could not say how the whole thing started.
“I can only narrate what happened. We had Tiv Day celebration and everyone left by 5:00pm. At 8:00pm, I was called that one of our students was killed at the old dinning hall. Students took the body to the administrative block where the security office is. They began protesting and destroying things.
“One of the suspected cultists could not escape with his colleagues and was caught and the students said they would kill him. However, the security rescued and hid him, but he was beaten that he is on admission at the General Hospital.
“On Monday, one of the students called me that another NCE3 student Ahangba Tsea, from English Theater department visited his girlfriend and some students knocked on the door and killed him.
“This happened off-campus so I didn’t go there because of security reasons. I told the Students Affairs Officer who told the Chief Security Officer and the police went and took the body away. I have been hearing that five people were killed altogether but I don’t know the other three.
“Again on Wednesday, someone called me that management had ordered the police to arrest the second student’s girlfriend and that they want to expel her, but we will reject it if she is not found to be a cultist. Currently, she is in detention in Makurdi,” Ogabo said.
The Students Affairs Officer of the college, Mr Sebastian Akia, confirmed the death of two students, but declined giving further information.
“I have already told you that the person to talk to you is the Provost who is the chief executive officer of the college. I have information on all these things, but I can only tell you if the provost directs me,” he said.
Meanwhile, up to the time of filing this report, all calls to the provost, Dr Han Senwua, remained unanswered.
Following the situation, the college was shut and students asked to vacate its premises.
It would be recalled that the College of Education, Katsina-Ala, like its other counterparts in the state, is just recovering from months of strike.
The Academic Staff Union of Tertiary Institutions in Benue State, ASUTIBS, had, in July last year, embarked on a strike that crippled activities in Colleges of Education and Polytechnics in Benue. The strike only ended February this year and the college was just trying to make up for the lost time when this incident happened.