Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt

The Senate of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) on Monday evening announced the closure of the institution following a violent students’ protest over a new school fees policy that prevented some students from writing examinations.

THISDAY gathered that a final year student of the Faculty of Management Sciences and president of the faculty students’ association, Peter Ofurum, was shot dead during the protest.

A text message from the Spokesman and Deputy Registrar (Information) of the university, Dr. Williams Wodi, said, “Senate has shut down the University with immediate effect. All students directed to vacate their hostel accommodation before 6.00pm today (Monday). Students’ Union and all their affiliate bodies suspended with immediate effect. The closure will last for one month.”

He however said the university was yet to confirm the death of any student.

He said the institution was aware of the death of three persons in the last two days outside the campus, but said investigations were on to determine if any of the victims was a student.

“Yesterday, a mobile policeman was shot outside the campus. Also yesterday, a person suspected to be a trader was shot at the same spot. Today, we heard that another person was shot at the same area. We do not know yet if the person is a student. Mind you, that happened outside the university campus. We will need to go through the Students’ Affairs Directorate to identify if any of the victims is a student,” he said.

Students of the university had on Monday morning gone on rampage, destroying buildings and setting up barricades along the East-west Road and adjoining roads in protest against the increase in school fees by the authorities of the institution.

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