Reports reaching us say crisis has broken out at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK). Authoritative sources confirmed that soldiers had stormed the school gate to disrupt the rampaging students who were protesting the scarcity of water in and around the institution.
The students, including fresh entrants, began the protest at about 7:30am after over close to two weeks of water crisis which hit Keffi because the management could not treat and pump water from Mada Water Works along Keff-Akwanga Road.
They chanted “No Water, No Road” during the protest.
An accounting student said the students had blocked the main road in front of the school gate. This he said disrupted traffic for several hours. The road is a major link road connecting Benue and Lafia to Abuja.
One source narrated that the soldiers fired live bullets in a bid to disperse the students to allow free flow of traffic. He said three students may have died as they were hit in critical parts of their bodies.
According to more recent reports, no fewer than five students were shot by a combined team of soldiers and policemen who moved in to open the barricade by students of NSUK.
Soldiers and policemen were said to have opened fire at point blank, killing two students on the spot, and injuring three others at the High Court area of Keffi, where the security personnel tried to break up the protesters at about 11am.
Joseph Danjuma, spokesman to the deputy governor, said they were about to “issue a press statement” on the matter.
Meanwhile, the management of the university has announced the decision to close down the school, according to Jamil Zakari, spokesman of the university.
Zakari also said he heard of the shooting down of students, but added that “I cannot officially confirm that now”.
State police spokesman, DSP Michael Ada refused to confirm the shooting and killing of students by either the soldiers or policemen. But he confirmed that the security personnel were there on ground. Ada said the state commissioner of police, Abayomi Akeremale had left Lafia to Keffi, earlier in the morning when the protesters stormed into the major road.
“But I can’t say anything official now because I am yet to hear from them there,” the PPRO said.
Eyewitnesses say the ambulance could not make its way to the school clinic where the team of medical officers were rushing the three badly bleeding students, and had to take another route to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in town.
“The university gate was sealed up by our students. So the ambulance could not make its way to the school clinic. The ambulance tried to go to FMC, but the road was blocked. They had to find other routes to FMC, somehow,” one student said.
Presently, about a dozen students have been rushed to the hospital and some are in critical condition.
As at the time of this report, the students have razed down a police station opposite the Angwan Lambu community.
As the protest turned sour, the University has been closed indefinitely.
See photos below: