The University of Port Harcourt has been shut down indefinitely following violent protests by students of the institution over the gruesome murder of four of their colleagues by youths in Omuokiri-Aluu community, spokesman of the university, Dr William Wordi has confirmed.
According to reports, the students had stormed the village in anger, setting ablaze no fewer than 12 houses in the community during the Tuesday protest. Students from other institutions under the aegis of National Association of Nigeria Students, NANS, stormed the university to mobilise students in Port Harcourt to protest against the brutal killing of four of their colleagues youths in Omuokiri-Aluu community last Friday.
The rampaging students blocked the East West road for several hours before allegedly marching to Omuokiri-Aluu community to start wrecking havoc setting fire to about twelve houses. The aggrieved students who blocked the East West road, reportedly insisted that they would only move out of the road after the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Joseph Ajienka had addressed them.
The Vice Chancellor reportedly obliged them after securing assurances that he would not be rough handled. However, during the address he was pelted with sachet water. Meanwhile, Dr Williams Wodi, the spokesman of University of Port Harcourt, has disowned the protesters, saying that students of the institution were not among those who demonstrated along East-West road in Port Harcourt.
The protesters had disrupted the flow of traffic on the busy road in a protest over the extra-judicial killing of four students of University of Port Harcourt. The four students were murdered by a mob at Omuokiri village, near the university, for allegedly stealing a laptop and blackberry phones.
Wodi said that the protesters took to the streets because the vice-chancellor of the university refused to meet with them due to security concerns. “Some students who claimed to be representatives of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) came to the campus yesterday (Oct. 8) insisting on seeing the vice-chancellor. “The vice-chancellor declined to meet with them; he told them that he had met with the students of the university and they had agreed to cancel the celebration of the students’ union week. “The essence of the cancellation was to discourage the gathering of students which can escalate the already deepening security situation in and around the university,” he said.
The university spokesman called on students of the university to remain calm and law abiding; promising that perpetrators of the `dastardly act’ would be brought to book.