The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has condemned , in a very strong term, the senseless and lawless shooting to death of four students of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, and injuring of numerous others by armed soldiers and mobile policemen for lawfully protesting the absence of water and electricity in the university for three weeks.
CLO said in a statement by Uche Wisdom Durueke and Ibuchukwu Ohabuenyi Ezike,its president and executive director respectively that gathered from our sources in the university that for over three weeks, the university community has suffered non-availability of water and electricity supplies without the authorities of the University either explaining the reasons for the lack of these essential amenities to the students and the entire community or making efforts to fix the crisis or make alternative arrangement for the supply of the amenities before the students embarked on a peaceful protest to drive home their demand for these amenities on Monday, February 25, 2013.
“Angered by the students’ legitimate action, CLO learnt, the university authorities were said to have mobilised armed military and police personnel into the campus to forcefully kill and maim the students reminiscent of the 1986 ABU massacre. On the arrival of these armed soldiers and policemen on the university premises, they started shooting sporadically during which time four students were mowed down to death and several others injured.
“We are shocked at this barbaric action of the university authorities , especially deploying military officers to employ the use of excessive force to quell civil protest by armless students. CLO recalls that similar event had occurred in Ebonyi state early this year when the students of Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, protested against over 300 percent increase in tuition and service fees by the university authorities in which CLO vehemently condemned the wickedness and called on the state government to investigate the crisis and bring culprits to book.
“In the similar manner, CLO hugely condemns the lawless and primitive actions of the authorities of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi and calls on the CPC -led government in Nasarawa state to urgently set up a Commission of Enquiry which will include students’ true representatives, members of credible civil society organisations, the NBA, NUJ and National Human Rights Commission to probe into the crisis in order to get to root of the mayhem, discover and punish the perpetrators in line with the laws of our land, pay adequate compensations to the families of victims and their families and recommend ways to forestall future occurrences.
“Also, we urge the Federal Government (including the National Assembly & the National Human Rights Commission) to, as a matter of urgency, probe the use of armed military men and mobile police officers to attack and kill innocent students doing a legitimate action with the view to bringing the perpetrators and those who sent and received them to do this evil to book.
“Lastly, CLO believes that the major causes of these crises in our tertiary institutions are government’s insensitivity to education and monumental corruption perpetrated by the authorities of these institutions and their allies in government. We call for thorough and persistent search lights on the Education sector by the government and its anti-graft agencies so as to expose the culprits, punish them accordingly, and restore sanity and confidence in the sector.