…Say’s 13 detained, 2 killed, 3 brutally injured, live bullet used in students Protest,
By Achadu Gabriel
Socio -cultural organization, Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU), has called on federal government to declared state of emergency in Kaduna state.
They said declaration will reduce tension and crises orchestrated as a result Governor Nasir El-rufai’s anti-citizens policies, precipitating poverty and record of high level insecurity among other negative developments under his government.
According to the statement signed on Wednesday by the Union spokesman, Luka Binniyat, the body explained that “Governor Nasir el-Rufai has become beyond reproach and defies every wise counsel on how to reduce tension and crisis in Kaduna state”
They also called on the President, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd), the National Assembly and the National Human Rights Commission to come to the assistance of Kaduna state and involved relevant laws of the land, including the declaration of a State of Emergency in Kaduna state, adding that “It has been proven beyond doubt that Governor Nasir el-Rufai is incapable of ruling Kaduna state without inflicting severe hurt to everything that stands for peace, justice and progress in the state”.
“We are also calling for assistance from the international community, International and local based NGOs and Human Rights Organisations, Civil Society, the Clergy, and all men and women of conscience to come together and ensure that justice is obtained for these poor students.
“El-Rufai and his government must also be held accountable for all the destructive and backward developments that have taken place in Kaduna state owned high institutions since he raised students’ tuition fees”, it stated.
The statement issued at the instance of the students protest at College of Education Gidan ways, the Union called for the immediate release of the 13 detained students and compensation paid them for their illegal detention without trial.
It stated that “On Monday, 28th June, 2021, students of Kaduna State College of Education (COE), Gidan Waya staged a procession against a shocking hike in the tuition fees of all government owned tertiary institutions in Kaduna state, including the COE, Gidan Waya.
“The students were not armed, they did not attack any passersby and did not destroy any private or public property. The protest was peaceful and non-violent as collaborated by locals.
“Going by the reports available to us, the military and other security personnel stationed in Gidan Waya had already appealed to the students to stay calm and find ways of relating their grievances to the right authority. It was then that a battle ready contingent of combined armed troops of soldiers, Mobile Police and Civil Defence Corps landed and started molesting the already upset students. In the process, live bullets were used to fire at the protesting students.
“As the dust settled one student lay cold dead after being aimed at and shot in the heart. Three other students were fatally shot and were rushed to the general Hospital Kafanchan where one of them died few hours later. There names are given as :Emmanuel Nathan and Abas Zakari both of them 100 level Students of the school.
“The fate of the other injured isnnow wrapped in mystery. It is disputed whether they are alive of dead, as all entreaties by us to locate them before issuing this statement met with lack of cooperation from Hospital authority.
“We are also yet to get the number of those who sustained other forms of injuries from the high-handedness of the military and are privately receiving treatments away from the gaze of the state authority.
“This is because, after the shooting, the troops went berserk arresting students they could grab. So far, 13 students of the schools have been arrested. They are made up of 4 females and 9 males. Some of them said that they were in their rooms when their doors were broken into, beaten up, arrested and hauled into a waiting van and then driven to Kafanchan Area Command of the Nigeria Police Force some 18km away.
“They have spent 48 hours without trial and without bail today Kafanchan Area Command of the Nigeria Police is very notorious for such human rights violations as we have pointed out over time. We are told they they are undergoing tuture and may be moved to Kaduna where they may charged for murder.
“The intolerance of Kaduna state government to peaceful protest against its anti-people actions and policies is already documented in its misadventure with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) after governor Nasir el-Rufai’s desperate attempts to stop its peaceful protest against mindless mass sack of its members failed in May, 2021.
“In Kaduna State University (KASU), as a means of disallowing any form of disagreement against the hike in school fees by over 500%, parents are made to sign an undertaking that should their wards be involved in any protest against the school fee hike, they would summarily be dismissed from the university. Such is the extent that Kaduna State government can go to gag its citizens against a suppressive and exploitative policy.
“With the hate and ill will that el-Rufai harbours against Southern Kaduna, it is not surprising that a peaceful protest against the same increment will lead to such a bloody crackdown.
“Therefore, Governor Nasir el-Rufai must take responsibility for the cold-blooded murder of these students. El-Rufai and his government must also be held accountable for all the destructive and backward developments that have taken place in Kaduna state owned high institutions since he raised students’ tuition fees.