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Akwa Ibom shuts secondary school over students’ riot

Akwa Ibom State

The Akwa Ibom state government has announced the indefinite closure of Government Technical College, Ewet located in Uyo metropolis following a violent riot by students which resulted in the wanton destruction of school property while some police officers drafted to quell the riot and teachers sustained various degrees of injury.

An eyewitness, Mrs. Arit Udoh told our correspondent in Uyo that trouble started when a teacher called the police to arrest two students who were on the wanted list of the police for their involvement in a street brawl.

He said when the police arrived the school premises, some students locked the gate and barricaded the main entrance into the school while they chanted war songs and engaged the police in a scuffle.

In a statement issued in Uyo on Thursday, the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Nse Essien, said the school has been closed indefinitely.

Essien said the students of the college on Wednesday afternoon engaged in an unruly behaviour, destroying school property and causing injuries to police officers and staff of the college.

He expressed the displeasure of the state government on the attitude of the students, adding that “Government Technical College, Ewet in Uyo metropolis is hereby shut indefinitely and all the students are advised to vacate the school premises with immediate effect. The staff of the college are however, advised to continue to report for duty.”

The commissioner said that 34 students of the college, whose names were compiled as being masterminds of the riot, have been placed on indefinite suspension, disclosing that the students would not return to the school, even when the school reopens.

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Also, Essien said that students would bear the cost of damages done to school property on resumption, stating that “as I speak, the divisional police officer is in a critical condition in the hospital as a result of injuries sustained in an effort to quell the students’ unrest.

“A member of staff of the college is under surgical operation on his left eye, while another one has also been seriously injured. As a responsible government, we cannot sit down, fold our hands and watch how our schools which are suppose to be citadels of learning are being turned into a den of hooligans.”

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Ihesiulo Grace

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