As a protest, staged by the students of the University of Jos entered its second day, some security operatives yesterday allegedly shot four of the aggrieved students who were protesting at the main gate of the institution.
The incident took place at about 1:30 p.m., along Bauchi road, where the university is located, when hundreds of students were continuing with their protest against increment of school fees for both new and returning students.
There were several gunshots during the incident, allegedly by combined security operatives, comprising both soldiers and policemen, who were chasing the students to vacate the main Bauchi Road, which was blocked by the aggrieved students and had caused a gridlock on the road leading to Bauchi state.
Peoples Daily learnt that the students that were shot by the security operatives were said to have been rushed to a hospital for medical treatment.
The protest came following the increase of tuition fees from N27, 000 to N50, 000 imposed on students. According to the Student Union Government (SUG) President, Nnok Nduu Abel, students of the institution paid the highest tuition fee compared to other Federal Universities in the North.
Abel said, “N10, 000 development levy is an issue; N10, 000 late registration in an issue; the financial autonomy of SUG is an issue; release of Naraguta hostel is an issue and N25, 000 paid as acceptance fee by the new students in an issue”.
The VC of the institution, Professor Hayward Mafuyai however debunked the claim made by the students, adding that the already scheduled examination, which was to have started yesterday, has been postponed till December 1.
When contacted, the Plateau state Police commissioner , Nasiru Oki told our correspondent on phone that” when we got the news of the protest , we immediately deployed our men to the scene of the protest, to protect public property and to forestall any outbreak of law and order; but none of our men fired anybody “, he said.
Our reporter, who visited Plateau Specialist Hospital where the student are being treated saw seven of the injured students, while the Special Task force (STF), insisted it has four of the injured students.
The students however reaffirmed that the injured ones were given First Aid in the hospital, but that the bullets were yet to be removed. They stressed that they were shot by men of the STF.
However, the spokesman of the STF, Captain Ikedichi Iweha, who confirmed the news to journalists in Jos, said “four students were shot by yet-to-be-identified security operatives while protesting. The injured students are currently receiving treatment at the STF clinic at the Headquarters “
“We had to rush them to our clinic for treatment because government hospitals are currently on strike “, he added, while denying the involvement of the STF in the shooting .