Pandemonium as police disperse protesting students in Kano
Apprehension gripped residents of Kumbotso area of Kano metropolis yesterday as heavily armed policemen dispersed students of Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education protesting the sudden closure of the institution.
The angry students, who were at loss to the government’s reason for shutting down their institution midway into the semester examination, had earlier barricaded the busy Kano/Zaria highway for hours.
The Guardian gathered that trouble started yesterday when the students, who had arrived at the college to sit for the exams, were denied entrance by the security, without notification.
The students, who criticised the government’s action, wondered why the authorities would jeopardise the interest of students with what they considered a drastic measure without considering the implication on society.
One of the student leaders, who preferred anonymity for fear of victimisation, revealed how the security operatives forcefully sent them away with tear gas, leaving the students scampering for safety.
Some students reportedly sustained injuries during the stampede that ensued.
“We were idle at home for eight months. Nobody worried about what impact that has on the students. Now, we are just starting our examination and the government ordered another closure without considering our interest. I think it is the most unfortunate thing. No prior notice, no information, just like that.,” he said.
The spokesperson for Kano Police Command, DSP Abdullahi Haruna, did not respond to several calls and text messages to him.
However, Provost of the College, Dr. Yahaya Bunkure, revealed that hoodlums, who took advantage of the angry students, hijacked the protest and barricaded the major highway.
He told journalists that the institution alerted the security to prevent possible breakdown of law and order when the situation was gradually going beyond peaceful protest.
Kano government had announced the closure of schools with immediate effect. Although there was no specific reason attached to the declaration, it may not be unconnected with the prevailing security threat and the rising cases of COVID-19 across the country.