Kaduna students block military convoy; 1 killed

By Amen Gajira

The Police in Kaduna have promised to investigate the cause of the fracas that led to the death of a student of Kaduna State College of Education, Gidan Waya.

The Command’s Public Relations Officer, ASP Muhammad Jalige, confirmed the death of one student and the injury of two others, which occurred on Monday.

“Today, Monday 28th June 2021 at about 8am, the Command was informed of protest and road blockade by students of College of Education, Gidan Waya, Kafanchan, over the recent increase in tuition fee by the Kaduna State Government.

“On receipt of the information, the Command immediately dispatched Operatives to restore normalcy.

“ The contingent professionally and successfully dispersed the protesters and warned them not to embark on further protest and road blockade, considering the existing warning against such action issued by the Kaduna State Police Command a fortnight ago.

However, at about 9.30 am, information has it that the students re-converged again and blocked the Gidan Waya – Kafanchan Federal Highway, and were becoming unruly and riotous.

“ At a point, the protesters blocked the convoy of a military sector Commander, injuring him and one other.

“The situation resulted in a fracas where three protesters were injured in an attempt to use minimal force to disperse the riotous students.

“The victims were taken to the hospital for medical attention but unfortunately one person died while receiving medical attention,” it said.

The Command urged the students to embrace dialogue in expressing their grievances, just as it pledged to conduct “diligent investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the fracas”.

On its part, the Kaduna State Government said it was waiting for the full reports on the incident.

“In the preliminary report received so far, one student lost his life, and some others were wounded, while three security personnel also sustained injuries.

“The Governor of Kaduna state, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, condoles with the family of student that lost his life and wished the students and operatives who sustained injuries, speedy recovery.

“The government of Kaduna State also wishes to debunk reports that it deployed security operatives to suppress protesting students.

“The government will publicize its findings after receipt of the expected reports,” it said, in a statement issued by the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan.

However, speaking to the newsmen on the incident, the Provost of the College, Prof. Alexander Kure, said the institution was on mid-semester break, and that he was not aware of the reason for the protest.

“The incident happened on the highway and not inside the school; I was told by the security that one student was killed and another injured.

“The school was shut yesterday (Sunday) for mid-semester break and students are to resume next Monday.

“I do not know why they were protesting; I am not privy to happenings outside the school,” he added.

It would be recalled that the Kaduna State Government had, in April, announced plans to increase tuition fees in all its tertiary institutions to reposition them.