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Students clash with commercial drivers in Niger

There was pandemonium at the Federal Polytechnic, Bida, on Sunday, as students and commercial drivers clashed.

CAMPUS REPORTER learnt that the clash led to the destruction of shops which are yet to open three days after the clash. Several students and residents were reportedly injured over ‘misunderstanding’ between commercial drivers and students which led to violence.

While students alleged that a driver breached agreement they had and confronted them with violence, the drivers said the students were aggressive in their approach.

A student, Mohammed Isah, said: “Some of our colleagues were cheated on Saturday after taking a bus from Minna to Bida. They paid the driver to take them to board a commercial bus from Minna to the Polytechnic campus, an agreement which was breached by the driver. We protested against the act at their garage on Sunday but were confronted by thugs at the garage.”

Reacting to this allegation, Abeeb Nasiru, a driver who spoke with CAMPUS REPORTER in a telephone interview on Tuesday said although, he did not know the genesis of the fight, but witnessed the combat on Sunday.

He said, “I did not know if there was an agreement between the students and our driver but the students came on Sunday morning with some of their Students’ Union Government officials that they want to take the driver to their school for moderation. Some of us even tried to intervene but they dragged him in a kidnap manner which led to the clash.”

Another student, Azeezat Rabiu who spoke with this newspaper said “some youths in the town have been attacking students since Sunday. Some are scared and they have remained on campus since then.”

The spokesperson of the institution, Husseini Enagi also confirmed the incident.

“Students claimed they were cheated and that their complaint was met with confrontation when they got to the garage the next day with some SUG officials. Majority of them were injured,” he said.

Mr Enagi also confirmed that the students came back to school to mobilize themselves and went on a rampage in town.

“We got reports that they looted shops and that people were beaten. We could not get in touch with Students’ Union then because of the tensed situation.”

When contacted, the Niger state Command spokesperson, Abubakar Muhammad said: “the Police is on top of the situation”.

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