CROSS RIVER AT 50: THE SAD TALE OF THE STUDENTS, 13MILLION AND THE COMMISIONER. (Detailed Eye Witness Report)

3 STUDENTS; 2 UNICAL AND 1 CRUTECH STUDENT SHOT.

13 MILLION NAIRA PROMISED TO STUDENTS.

1 MILLION NAIRA PROVIDED FOR STUDENTS TO SHARE.

BY DANIEL FAITHFUL M.

Even though the details of  27th May; that for some would remain a ‘Black Saturday‘ is cumbersome, I would like to present the details chronologically:

It was supposed to be a bright and beautiful Saturday for students for a number of reasons viz; it was a weekend, most students were done with examinations, it was  children’s day and cross river state 50 years anniversary celebration.

The Story Begins…

ROAD TO THE ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION. (CRS@50)

From reliable sources within the Presidency of the Student Union Government  UNICAL, invitations and solicitations were made to Student leaders for student mobilization, to be  part of the State’s celebration. To that end:  The Student Union government UNICAL mobilised students whom were conveyed in State provided buses to the venue of the celebration.

The EVENT AND THE 13 MILLION NAIRA Gift…

Comr. Afufu Anthony had private discussions with the State governor, whom He impressed beyond proportions and led to the Governor donating  10 million Naira to students of UNICAL.

Few hours later, Students of UNICAL on sighting erstwhile Governor of Akwa Ibom state and Senate Minority leader Sen. Godswill Akpabio (who happens to be a former SUG Senate President) on the front row of dignitaries, began raining praises and chants to which He responded cheerfully  promising  3 million Naira to the students.

Sen. Gershom Bassey, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, Prof. Ivara Esu and Prof. Ben Ayade during te CRS at 50 celebration

How The Story Took A Different Turn…

The students had to wait for hours for the Commissioner of Youth and Sports Mr. Asu Okang ( a one time SUG Presidential aspirant of UNICAL) saddled with the delivery of the money.  The various Student leaders, Corps leaders and Youth Council leaders were assembled to be given their ‘De-mobilization fund‘. The SUG President UNICAL returned to His students and stated that no money was made available. The commissioner while addressing the students moments later, made an attempt to implicate the Union president stating that money had been given to the President, a claim that was later retracted. He further stated that money available was exhausted and sought to be accompanied by the SUG President to get the sum of 1 million Naira demobilization fund.

However, students were already agitated as they had waited for hours under the warm shield of the sun’s rays.  Again a student returned who alleged that He (the student) was beaten by men of the Force and that the SUG President had been taken to different location.

The Sad Twist in The Whole Plot…

Students bothered about the welfare and security of their President and also about the money promised them, trooped and barricaded the highway.

Naval officers approached the students who were simply chanting aluta songs,  the security men were briefed and let the students continue. The Chief of Staff of the union, Comr. Save-us Okoi maintained communication with the President and tried to allay students fear and concern, apparently His plea for calm fell on deaf ears.

The Point The Clouds became Dark and It Rained…

Mobile Police officers in a van drove in,  and began shooting sporadically  into the air initially, later directing their nozzles at students. It would be noted that a particular officer tore of His name-tag before opening fire. Students scampered off to safety. Unluckily, 3 students were gunned down; 2 UNICAL Students and 1 CRUTECH student.

POST- SHOOTING…

The students were rushed to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH): the CRUTECH student sustained a minor injury, while one of the students sustained a shot to His left leg (with the bullet piercing through to hit the Right leg), the Third student sustained a shot to his calf region  (according to some sources has sought traditional care to extract remnants of the bullet).

The student with the damage to both legs is currently on admission at the Teaching Hospital.

The SUG Director of Socials, was allegedly beaten by military personnel on attempting to recover the Union vehicle abandoned during the shoot out.

The 1 Million Naira and 300,000  Naira already spent…

The SUG President, stated that about 300,000 Naira had been spent to cover cost of treatment and surgeries.

The Commisioner…

Hon. Asu Okang, commissioner of Youth and Sports visited the victim at UCTH, this evening at about 4:00pm, He gave the sum of 250,000 (5 bundles of 50,000) to the family of the only victim on admission.

On His way out of the accident and emergency unit, He met students waiting and was about to address them. An  Aide made a statement along the lines of ” It was a shot in self defence“(referring to the officers shot) in a conversation with another aide, this infuriated students who gave the young commissioner no chance to speak and no choice but to run to safety in a white Hilux van in the company of security details and the SUG President UNICAL.

MANAGEMENT…

The Chief Security officer was at the hospital and together with Mr. Bassey Eka, who dismissed students behind the ruckus that transpired.

The Chief Security officer had paid an initial 40,000 Naira for treatment to begin (students had earlier contributed and paid 8,000 which was refunded)

Mr. Bassey Eka ( S.A to the Vice-chancellor on Student Matters ) stood as a surety for the students before treatment was administered.

The Special adviser to the Governor on Youth affairs Prince Godswill visited the Hospital some minutes later in the company of 3 associates in a Black Lexus Jeep. He saw the victim and confirmed that 250,000  Naira had been offered to the victim’s family.

Speaking to the Special Assistant to the Vice-chancellor on Student Matter over the issue, He said the crises came as a surprise to Him on Saturday evening to which He quickly responded. He also stated that the Vice-chancellor visited te victims on Sunday, 28th May.

He said the matter was not within the walls of the university and was beyond managements jurisdiction but out of love, care and concern the Vice-chancellor and come to see the injured students and ensure urgent medical care.

He advised students to desist from unnecessary agitation and protest and focus more on their academics, while stating that the student on admission is doing fine and a surgery is to commence soon ” All this wouldn’t have happened if they(students) listened to instructions. ‘Wait let me go get your money‘, that was all the President asked them to do.”

Malabor Republik still waits for more details and is in pain over the events of Saturday, May 27th 2017.

We are waiting to report more as the story unfolds.

Daniel Faithful M. Is a campus journalist and blogger, Public Relations hopeful cum Medical student, who has interest in Politics, Religion and Entertainment. I just love writing, reporting news and making news.

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