25 February 2013

Nigeria: Keffi Students' Protest - Security Agents Open Fire, Two Feared Dead

Lafia — No fewer than five students were shot by a combined team of soldiers and policemen who moved in to open the barricade by students of Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), who poured out this morning in protest against a water crisis which had lasted for over one week.

Soldiers and policemen were said to have opened fire at point blank, killing two students on the spot, and injuring three others at the High Court area of Keffi, where the security personnel tried to break up the protesters at about 11am.

Joseph Danjuma, spokesman to the deputy governor, said they were about to "issue a press statement", on the matter.

Meanwhile the management of the university has announced the decision to close down the school, according to Jamil Zakari, spokesman of the university.

Zakari also said he heard of the shooting down of students, but added that "I cannot officially confirm that now."

The students, including fresh entrants began the protest at about 7:30am after over close to two weeks of water crisis which hit Keffi because the management could not treat and pump water from Mada Water Works along Keff-Akwanga Road. They chanted "No Water, No Road", during the protest which has continued for about five hours now.

State police spokesman, DSP Michael Ada refused to confirm the shooting and killing of students by either the soldiers or policemen. But he confirmed that the security personnel were there on ground.

DSP Ada said the state commissioner of police, Abayomi Akeremale had left Lafia to Keffi, earlier in the morning when the protesters stormed into the major road. "But I can't say anything official now because I am yet to hear from them there", the PPRO said.

Daily Trust learnt that the school ambulance was rushed in to evacuated the shot students, but two had died before the team of medical officer arrived.

Our sources said the ambulance could not make its way to the school clinic where the team of medical officers were rushing the three badly bleeding students, and had to take another route to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in town.

"The university gate was sealed up by our students. So the ambulance could not make its way to the school clinic. The ambulance tried to go to FMC, but the road was blocked. They had to find other routes to FMC, somehow", one student said.

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