Uniport students protest the killing of students – houses & cars burnt. Uniport closed indefinitely

Llyod,Chidiaka,Ugonna and Tekena

Students of the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday protested the killing of four students by indigenes of Aluu community, a village beside the university. On friday, four students of the university – Biringa, Chiadika Lordson (Year two, Theatre Arts), Ugonna, Kelechi Obuzor (Year Two, Geology) and Mike, Lloyd Toku (Year Two, Civil Engineering).The fourth victim, Tekena Erikena, was “yet to be formally identified as a student of the University of Port Harcourt”. They were brutally beaten and murdered in Aluu for allegedly stealing a laptop computer and a BlackBerry phone. 

The protesters carried signs that expressed their anger and refused to leave the junction until the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Joseph Ajienka, addressed them. Some of the student signs said, Aluu community 4 vs Uniport 0 – 1st half; “You cannot kill Nigerian students and go free”; “Aluu people must pay with their blood”, etc. The vice chancellor finally spoke to the student after getting assurances that they would not attack him. 

Some students set houses and cars on fire in Aluu. Sources report that about 12 houses were burnt including the house of the chief of the community who is reported to have given the order to kill the students. About 30 students were reported to have been injured during the protests. 

With the latest development the school authorities announced the immediate closure of the university and it is to remain closed indefinitely. 

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) also issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Federal and Rivers State governments to apprehend and punish the perpetrators of the killing of the four UNIPORT students. The organisation also criticised President Goodluck Jonathan for not mentioning the incident or condoling their families in his broadcast to the nation on Tuesday. 

There have been reports that thirteen suspects have been arrested and eleven of them have been arraigned at a High Court in Port Harcourt.