By: PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Government Technical College, Ewet in Uyo metropolis of Akwa Ibom State has been shutdown indefinitely by the state government following an act of hooliganism exhibited by students of the college.
The Commissioner for Education, Prof. Nse Essien who announced government position in a statement on Thursday, directed all students of the College to vacate the school premises with immediate effect while staff are advised to continue to report to duty.
Students of the College on Wednesday, embarked on street protest, leading to wanton destruction of property, and infliction of several degrees of injuries on members of staff and passersby including police officers who were mobilized to stop the unrest.
Lamenting the incident where the students took laws into their hands, Prof Essien said, “As I speak, the Divisionnal Police Officer is in a critical condition in the hospital as a result of injuries he sustained in an effort to quell the students unrest.
“A member of staff of the College is undergoing a surgical operation in his left eye while another one has also been seriously injured.
Several other members of staff and the general public have also sustained varying degrees of injuries and several windscreens of vehicles have been smashed as a result of the street fighting which has almost become a trademark of the College”, he stated.
The Education Commissioner said that government frowns at the ugly incident, therefore would not fold its hands and watch how school which supposed to be a citadel of learning is being turned into a den of hooligans.
Accordingly, he said government would take decisive actions necessary to ensure that a similar incident doesn’t occur again in that College.
To this end, the Commissioner said that government would set up an investigative panel to unravel the remote causes of the students crises in that College which has become a recurring decimal.
All students arrested during the incident and those to be arrested in the course of Police investigations will be prosecuted in a normal and juvenile courts.
He also disclosed that 34 students arrested which intelligencr sources indicated as masterminds of the current incidence in that college have been suspended indefinitely, and would not be admitted into the system in the state until their cases have been reviewed.
Prof Essien said the cost of property destroyed as a result of the crisis would be paid by the students whenever they would be asked to resume school.
He called on parents and caregivers to monitor the kind of friends their children have and their activities, stressing that cult organisations would no longer be tolerated in schools in the state.
According to him, patrons and sponsors of cult groups in the school system in the state who will be identified during investigations shall be dealt with decisively.