From Gyang Bere, Jos
A student of Plateau State Polytechnic Barkin-Ladi was yesterday shot death and several others inflicted injuries following a peaceful protest by the Student Union Government (SUG) to expressed displeasure over the suspension of their second semester examination.
The students, who came to the institution that early morning to commenced their final examination met the school gate under lock and when they enquired from the security, they were told that Lecturers have embarked on strike.
It was gathered that most of the students got upset with the unhealthy development and organized themselves to stage a peaceful protest to expressed their dissatisfaction.
The protest which took place at the Main Campus, Barkin-Ladi and Jos Campus as early as 8am led to the blockage of the major Yakubu Gowon road which obstructed free flow of vehicles.
Troops of the Operation SAFE HAVEN (OPSH) who came to dispatch the students shot on the air and a bullet was allegedly hit one of the students on the forehead and died.
Several of the students had gunshots injuries while some sustained injuries due to stampede as they were running for safety.
Speaker of the Student Union Government (SUG), Linus Luka confirmed that one student was shot on his forehead and died while several others inflicted injuries.
“This morning, students were happy to come to school to commence their second semester examination and met the school gate luck. When they ask security guards on duty, they were told that Lecturers are on strike.
“Students were not properly inform about the strike and when the examination was suspended, they decided to expressed their displeasure through a peaceful protest.
“In the process, troops of the Operation SAFE HAVEN came to dispatch the students who were blocking road, they teargas the students and shot several on the air where one of the students was hit by the bullet on the head and another shot on stomach that led to the death of one student.
“We are not happy over this unhealthy development because we have over stayed in the institution due to COVID-19. Government must learn to respect any agreement signed with the academic union in the institution.
“We cannot continue to be victims of their disagreement, the right thing should be done to enable us return to school soon to continue with our examination.” He stated.
President Public Administration Students Association (PASA), Peter Bisat lamented the untold hardship the strike will caused the students.
He said the final year students are worse hit by the unhealthy development as they have been held in the school beyond the during for which they are supposed to complete their students.
Bisat said the lecturers has done their utmost best as they have completed their lectures scheme and ready to conduct examination only for the state government to decline the agreement earlier reach with academic union on disparity with the salary table.
“We have been hearing rumor of this strike right from when we resumed this semester, the lecturers have been working to resolve the issues while lectures were going on.
“At some point, I was told that the reach an agreement with the Head of Service but Government is yet to implement the agreement. The are human being and we plead with government to as a matter of urgency commence the implementation of that agreement to enable us return to school.”
Chairman of Joint Union of the Academic Staff of Plateau State Owned Tertiary Institutions, Comrade Lumye Innocent Simji had declared indefinite strike action with effect from Friday 17 September, 2022 following government in ability to honour the agreement earlier signed on salary table for lecturers and illegal deductions.
He said, “First of all was the issue of our salary consolidation. Sometimes in October last year we wake up and discovered that they deconsolidated our salaries and this is a salary table that we had an agreement with government signed and they have been paying us with.”
He also lamented how the Plateau State Healthcare Contributory Management Agency commenced deduction from the salaries of his members without adhering to the agreement reached on the issue of the health contributory scheme signed into law by the Executive Governor, Simon Lalong.