Police, UNIPORT disagree on protest casualties

Police, UNIPORT disagree on protest casualties

Monday, April 11, 2016 10:21 pm

*Varsity now shut for four weeks

UNIPORT: peaceful protest turns violent

UNIPORT: peaceful protest turns violent

The Rivers State  Police Command on Monday denied that there were casualties during a protest by students of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), a claim that ran contrary to the position of the university, where deputy registrar, Williams Wodi said two persons died.

The command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Ahmad Muhammad, said that there was no casualty on the part of the police or students during the violent   protest by the students over a “no tuition fee-no examination fee” policy introduced by the UNIPORT management.

“No student or policeman lost their lives during the UNIPORT protest.

“The policeman reported dead had nothing to do with UNIPORT, because the deceased policeman was shot dead by armed robbers in an isolated case.

“Similarly, no university student was killed to the best of my knowledge.

“All roads earlier blocked by the protesting students have been reopened by the police,” he said

Muhammad said the police was cooperating with UNIPORT management to ensure that normalcy was restored on campus and host communities.

UNIPORT’s Deputy Registrar (Information), Dr Williams Wodi, however said  that two persons, including a policeman died in the violent protest.

The spokesman said the policeman was shot dead at a junction along the East West inter-state road, close to the university.

“Also, another person whose identity had not been confirmed was also shot dead on Monday during the protest which lasted for several hours,” Wodi said.

Management of UNIPORT has  meanwhile  announced the closure of the university for one month following the students’ protest over new tuition fee policy on Monday in Port Harcourt. It also suspended all students union activities.

UNIPORT management had in 2015, adopted a policy which made payment of tuition fee a prerequisite for students’ participation in examination, a policy which compelled defaulting students to repeat a whole academic session.

The protest which initially started on a peaceful note, later turned violent with students destroying school property worth millions of naira.

They demanded the withdrawal of the policy, which they argued, was unfair to poor students.

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