Police Shoot At Protesting Students


Umar Manko, Lagos State Commissioner of Police.

At least four students were allegedly shot by policemen at the Michael Otedola College Of Primary Education, MOCPED, Epe on Monday afternoon when a purported peaceful protest degenerated into a mayhem.

Students of the institution, who were at the scene of the fracas, explained to P.M.NEWS that their first semester examination was scheduled to start Monday and the students who had not paid their school fees were prevented from sitting for the examination and were asked to leave but they refused.

Instead, they started throwing bottles at the school buildings, demanding to be allowed into the examination hall. This, the eyewitnesses said, irked the Provost and the policemen asked to restore peace and order, allegedly shot four of the students.

One of the students who spoke with P.M.NEWS, Ibukun Afolayan, said: “our first semester exam was supposed to start today (Monday) and those who were still owing school fees were exempted but they did not leave the school premises. They protested that they should be allowed to write the exam.

“This continued and some students started throwing stones and bottles at the buildings. This did not go down well with the Provost and the policemen were brought in to restore order but since they couldn’t control the rampaging students, they had to fire gunshots and the bullets hit four of our students but one of them survived,” she added.

In his own words, Raymond Ojekunle of the Accounting Department of the institution, said the students intended to stage a peaceful protest over school fees but it ended up being a big riot.

He said: “We had started writing today’s paper when we started hearing sounds of broken bottles and saw that stones were being thrown at our building. All of us had to run out to see what was happening.

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“There was serious pandemonium when we got outside for the next thirty minutes before normalcy returned. But surprisingly, when I was going to the auditorium with a friend, I saw some policemen coming into the school. From that moment till we ran away, it was like war in our school. It was later that we discovered that four of our colleagues had been shot and that only one of them survived the fracas.”

The names of the students who were allegedly shot and killed could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this report.

The only survivor of the gunshot, identified to be a 200-level Integrated Science student of the school is still receiving treatment at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi.

When contacted, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide claimed not to know anything about the incident and promised to get back to our correspondent after talking to the Area Commander.

Further efforts to reach her proved futile as several calls put through her line were not picked.

—Damilare Okunola

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