By Abel Daniel
A supposedly peaceful protest by students of Nasarawa State Polytechnic over the killing of their colleague by a driver in Lafia, claimed two more lives yesterday with several others injured as the students engaged police in a gun battle.
The protest started Wednesday, after a National Diploma 2 student of Accountancy, Mr. Winners Pius, was killed by a vehicle driving against traffic Tuesday night.
The aggrieved students, Wednesday, blocked the Lafia-Akwanga Highway in a peaceful protest, demanding the state government to install speed breaks (bumps) on the road.
However, the protest took another dimension when the security operatives called to calm the scene started shooting tear gas and bullets in the air to disperse the protesting students, leaving many wounded.
The Public Relations Officer, PRO, of the Student Union Government, SUG, Jafaru Habibu, said: “The incident has been reoccurring in the school for sometime because we have lost many students, which led to several agitations, but this time we decided to embark on a peaceful protest.
“While we were protesting the loss of our student on the Lafia-Akwanga Highway, the police shot two other students. One died instantly, while the other one has been rushed to the hospital.
“We pay all fees the institution asks us to pay, so they should also meet our demands. Government has continued to turn deaf ears to our plea to construct bumps along the school road.”
The institution’s Registrar, Labani Joseph, said that the management had earlier appealed to the students to shelve their protest and go back to class, saying the management of the institution promised to look into the matter, but that the students turned deaf ears to their pleas.
He explained that when the protest got to its peak, they had to invite the security operatives to calm down the situation, which led to the gun battle between the students and security operatives.
The Registrar added that the school had been closed down indefinitely as a result and ordered the security agents to ensure no student is seen loittering around.