Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
A gang suspected to be armed robbers yesterday shot and killed a final year engineering student of the Bayelsa State-owned Niger Delta University (NDU).
THISDAY learnt that the student of the university located on Wilberforce Island, Amasoma, Southern Ijaw, was killed near a bank where he was soliciting business from new school entrants who had gone to the bank to buy the institution’s entrance form.
Obele Wilson, as the victim was later identified by friends, used the opportunity offered by the strike embarked upon by lecturers of over unpaid salaries to open a business centre where he had been processing admission seekers’ documents electronically for a fee.
He was reportedly attacked along the Sani Abacha Expressway, Yenagoa, where some branches of new generation banks are located. The armed gang reportedly confronted Wilson and some bank customers at about 2p.m. and started dispossessing them of their cash, mobile handsets and other valuables.
An eyewitness, who preferred not to be named, said the deceased student was at the spot to seek patronage from persons who bought the NDU forms from banks since the competition in getting customers directly in the business centre had become fierce. After the shooting, it was gathered that sympathisers tried to rush Wilson to an undisclosed hospital, but that he died before getting there.
“The killing of Wilson was very painful. He was a final year engineering student who was in the business of processing screening forms for admission seekers.
“He was at the premises of the bank to look for customers from among those who purchased the forms. ‘’Some armed men stormed the place and started collecting people’s valuables and cash at gunpoint.
Wilson argued with them in the process and they shot him,” he said.
But he blamed the incident on the ongoing industrial crisis between the employees of the university and the state government which led to the shutdown of NDU. “If not for the strike, Wilson would have gone for his compulsory industrial training for final year engineering students.
He was processing the training when the strike started,” he added. Wilson was said to have a hailed from Ogbia Local Government Area.
He was also the immediate past Vice-President of the National Union of Bayelsa State Students (NUBSS), and leader of the Ogbia students union.
The Police Public Relations Officer for the state command, Mr. Asinim Butswat, was not immediately reachable. A text message sent to him was also not replied.