One student killed in UNIPORT protest

A student of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) in Rivers State was feared killed on Monday during a protest against the institution's alleged non compliance with the new school fees policy.

 The students, who shut down academic activities in the school, started their protest at about 4:30am.

It was gathered that the victim, who was identified as Comrade Peter Ofurun,
a student of Management Science, was killed by a stray bullet from the police who were trying to scare them from continuing with the demonstration.

Another student, whose name was yet to be known as at the time of filing this report, was also reportedly hit by a stray bullet and was hurriedly taken to an undisclosed hospital for immediate treatment.

Reports was that the protesting students disrupted vehicular and human traffic on the East-West road chanting that they would not accept the school's new policy of ‘no fees no examination'.

The university authority had recently adopted a new policy which bars any student unable to pay fees from sitting for examination. Also a student who did not write the current examination is allegedly compelled by the policy to repeat the current level.

But the students, who protested on Monday, described such policy as a form of victimisation of the student of the institution. The students maintained that based on the nature of the nation's economy, the management should not be strict on the policy.

The students who claimed that they have, on several occasions, pleaded with the university management to extend the deadline for the payment for the second semester added that they would prefer to be shut down completely unless the management accepts their own stand.

A student, Andrew Osose, who spoke with newsmen said: "The management of the school did not consider the real life situation before trying to enact the academic policy.

"They said if you do not pay the school charges, you cannot write exams and we the students pleaded with the management that they should allow us write the exam and that they should open registration till one week to the second semester because all fingers are not equal but the school management paid deaf ears to our pleas.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ahmad Muhammad, who spoke on the death of the student, however, said it was a mere allegation.

Meanwhile, the Senate of the University of Port Harcourt has shut down the institution with immediate effect. 

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