Students of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education yesterday clashed with men of the Nigeria Police Force, when the students gathered at the Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) to stage a rally to protest the lingering crisis between their teachers’ unions and the federal government, which they claimed had kept them idle for more than 10 months.
The protest by the students was aimed at obstructing the ever busy Third Mainland Bridge, to attract the sympathy of the public.
President of National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), Salahudeen Lukman, said the policemen in more than five vans and Black Maria initially began to disperse them with teargas but later started to fire live bullets.
Similarly, journalists who made attempts to cover the protest were harassed, while some escaped by a whisker.
“Mr Olufemi Kujero was in charge of the operation; Messrs Ukpoke, Tijani, Olufemi and Olusegun, all of Yaba and Surulere Divisions of the Police were with vans with registration number KTU 08 AW, EKY 653 AW, and Patrol Traffic 03. Our phones were destroyed and they threatened to shoot us. In fact, many of the ladies who joined the protest were immediately arrested because they could not run fast and they were put in the Black Maria,” Salahudeen told newsmen.
The police were reportedly infuriated by the students’ insistence to continue with their protest, saying they were tired of staying at home without word from the government on when the crisis would be resolved. (Leadership)