The accident scene where NANS leaders died near Owo in Ondo State
Donald Onukaogu,the Senate President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and four other students have been killed in a road crash.
The students met their end yesterday on their way to the University of Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State, to intervene in the current crisis rocking that institution.
The lone survivor for the accident, who is currently receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, claimed that an illegal road block mounted by the police was responsible for the tragedy.
It would be recalled that yesterday, the police killed several students during a protest organized by students of Engineering at the university. That prompted the decision of the NANS leaders to embark on the urgent trip to Akwa-Ibom.
The Engineering students were protesting against new transport fees and other anti-student policies, including the contentious “No pay, No examination” policy.
Confirming the death of his colleagues this morning, the President of NANS, Yinka Gbadebo, blamed the tragedy on the police. “The police under the current IGP killed nine students within one week; the police action is barbaric and we call for the immediate resignation of the IGP, Mohammed Dikko Abubakar.”
However, it is yet unclear how the incident happened. The survivor of the crash claimed that the police mounted an illegal road block by putting heavy logs and stones on the road and that the unsuspecting students, who were travelling in a NANS bus rammed into the illegal barrier. According to him, the police ran away immediately the accident occurred.
Another source, has, however controverted that account, claiming that a trailer crushed the students’ vehicle.
The Nigerian police have a poor reputation of extra-judicial killings. “We are closing down all campuses in Nigeria and national action will commence immediately,” Mr. Gbadebo threatened.
In a similar occurrence last February, nine students of the Nasarawa State University in Keffi, died in a road accident at Mararaba, Karu Local Government Area as they fled from soldiers who attacked them during a campus protest.
The soldiers ao killed several students on the scene protest .
In July last year, three students’ union leaders were killed on the Owo–Akure Road. They were the Student Union Presidents of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Comrade Awopegba Oluwaseun, Comrade Akintola Abiodun of the Adeyemi College of Education, and Comrade Oyikan Olotu of the Ondo State School of Midwifery, Akure.
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