Men of the Kogi State Police Command and the Nigerian Army on Monday clamped down on students of tertiary institutions in the state that were protesting the continued closure of their schools.
Three of the students (a female from Kogi Poly, Lokoja and two male from Kogi University, Anyigba) were arrested during the peaceful protest that took place at the NATACO junction of the Lokoja- Abuja highway.
The students operating under the “Re-open our School Movement” had mobilised themselves on major roads as early as 7.15 am, expressing their readiness to return to school, chanting; “We want to go back to school”, “we are not here for violence.”
The students also displayed placards with inscriptions like “We are tired of staying at home, 2015 and 2016 students have missed the first batch of NYSC mobilisation and please Re-open our institution”.
However as the students continued with the protest, blocking the highway, men of the police were drafted to the scene to maintain decorum.
But after sometime, men of the Nigerian Army allegedly molested the students by beating them with horse whip and sticks.
The students however reconvened planning to go on a procession before the police returned and arrested the trio.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), William Aya, who confirmed the arrest, said three people were arrested.
He said the students were dislodged because they were blocking a major highway that linked the north and the south; said the arrested people were being screened to ascertain their status whether they are truly students or not.
Aya said the authorities of the schools they claimed to have attended would be invited for proper identification.
Tertiary institutions have been closed since January 31, 2017 when the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the institutions called for strike over the negative effects of the ongoing staff screening exercise embarked upon by the state government.