Police officers on Monday dispersed protesting students of the College of Education Ilorin, Kwara State with tear gas.
The students were protesting over the non-payment of their lecturers’ salaries, a situation which had denied them the opportunity of commencing their semester examination.
Trouble started on Monday morning when the students converged on their lecture halls for their examinations only for them to meet the classroom empty as the lecturers had opted to boycott the examination.
The aggrieved students then forcefully opened the main gate of the school and started a protest to the Government House in Ilorin, the state capital.
The protest was, however, cut short along unity road, some meters away from government house as policemen dispersed them with tear gas forcing the students and passersby to scamper for safety.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Ayaji Okasanmi, told Channels Television that the students were dispersed because they ‘became uncontrollable and damaged some properties’.
“They are fighting for their teachers, as far as we are concerned, the teachers are capable of fighting for themselves. This morning, the students came out, not only that, they started disturbing and destroying properties of innocent persons. They became uncontrollable.
“When we discovered they had damaged so many vehicles, we had to forcefully disperse them. We also didn’t want hoodlums to hijack the protest,” Okasanmi told Channels Television.
The National Association of Nigerian Students, Imo State Chapter, has staged a peaceful protest against the recent hike in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also referred to as petrol by the Federal Government.
The youths in their numbers took to the streets of Owerri the capital of Imo State, causing heavy gridlock and carrying placards with various inscriptions.
Contrary To Campaign Promises
They expressed their support for the planned strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress against the increase of the price of PMS from 86.50 Naira to 145 Naira per litre.
The Labour union had issued the Federal Government a 4-day ultimatum to revert to the old petrol pump price of 86.50 Naira or risk a nationwide protest.
According to the protesting students the All Progressives Congress (APC) is delivering what is contrary to their campaign promises as regards the fuel price issue.
Recalling that the APC had promised to reduce the price of petrol to 40 Naira per litre during the campaigns, insisting that the increase was a plot by the Federal Government to cause untold hardship on the Nigerian masses.
The students during the protest also called on the Imo State government to resolve the lingering crisis between the government and Academic Staff Union of Universities, Imo State Chapter which they claimed had kept the Imo State University under lock and key for months, keeping students idle and non-productive.
The week long protest organized in January 2012 against the hike in fuel price may have opened the door for a plethora of other protests that have followed since then.
Most recently, university students have often used protests to register their displeasure over decisions they deem unfair by university authorities.
On this edition of the programme, we will be examining some of this issues and how they can be resolved to forestall future occurrences.
Channels Television’s Online Correspondent, Victor Mathias will be joined by Gossy Ukanwoke and other change agents from around the world via video call to examine the problems in Nigeria’s education system and proffer solutions.
The Nasarawa State governor, Tanko Almakura has suspended the General Manager of the state water board, Safiyanu Ibrahim. Mr. Ibrahim’s suspension is not unconnected to the protest embarked on by the students of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, which resulted in the death of four students and disruption of free flow of traffic along Keffi-Abuja-Lafia road on Monday.
The slain students were among other protesting the scarcity of electricity and water in the school.
During the protest, some soldiers reportedly invaded the school and started firing shots which claimed the lives of four students.
In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Ilyasu Yakubu, the government said it has commenced investigation into the remote and immediate causes of the protest.
The statement added that Governor Almakura also directed the most senior officer in the state water board to cover the affairs of the board pending the determination of the investigation.