Two simultaneous protests rocked two Nigerian universities on Monday 4th December, 2023 over sundry dissatisfactions by the students against their various school managements.
In the early hours of Monday, dozens of the students staged a peaceful protest against the varsity’s management hike of school fees.
The students gathered at the Malabor Square which houses the Students Union Government secretariat and moved to the female hostels bearing placards.
They marched from the areas where hostels are situated, popularly referred to as ‘Malabor Republik’ as their numbers increased via the Senate building and currently occupy the roundabout next to the main gate which connects Etta Agbor Street and Mary Slessor Avenue.
Chanting some solidarity songs, they displayed placards with various inscriptions that read: “Florence Obia, UNICAL is not a private university, which one is ‘slight increment’, say no to billing”, “UNICAL VC, stop forcing girls into prostitution”, “this is a federal university, not a business center,” among others.
The protest grounded vehicular movement and academic activities in the school.
At the same moment, students of Yelwa Campus of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi State, also staged a peaceful protest over the death of their colleague – a 500-level student of Geology, Joseph Agabaidu who was stabbed to death by some assailants who were trying to steal his mobile phone.
However, there was pandemonium when the police drafted to the scene fired teargas at them.
Their insistence on going outside the school environment was denied.
The gate was shut and the students were told by the police to go back some distance but they refused. The policemen then fired tear gas, which forced the students to move away from the gate.
Those going in and out of the campus were seen coughing profusely as a result of the teargas that had been shot by the police.
Punch said many people were seen using handkerchiefs, veils, and other items to cover their noses.
It was observed that the teargassing further aggravated them as they forcefully closed the gate and blocked all roads within the campus.
This left lecturers and students going in and out of the school stranded as the students refused to open the gate and allow vehicular and human movements.