15 Arrested as NANS Zonal Election Ends in Bloodshed

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  •  One killed, another severely wounded

Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

The zonal election of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has ended in chaos at the Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa State.

In the aftermath of the bloody encounter, the police said yesterday that they had arrested 15 of the suspects, including the President of the students’ body in Bayelsa, Perewari Benjamin.

Aside the shooting and eventual death of one Magam Elvis, a university of Uyo student who was participating in the event, one Tonye Samuel, a student of the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, was also shot and severely wounded.

Some of the suspects also hijacked three buses at gunpoint which they hired from Ammasoma park in Biogbolo, Yenagoa, to take them to the venue in Otuoke, seriously injuring the drivers and dispossessing them of their belongings.

The police said two factions of the students’ body came in from UNIUYO, noting that some of the students who were arrested were already under serious reprimand and had promised to be of good behaviour before the incident.

Commissioner of Police in the State, Amba Asuquo, told journalists that Akpan Esuabanga, Aaron Wisdom, Gabriel Enyeneokpan , Etefia Otobong , Akwaoso Uwankmfon, all from UNIUYO, were among those arrested in connection with the attempted murder.

He listed the three other suspects connected with the murder on the school campus as Emmanuel Ebere, Okon Ben and Obiakarije Innocent, noting that the remains of the deceased had been deposited at the morgue.

Those who hijacked the buses and injured the drivers, he said, were Asari Enagob, Suoguai Bina, Ibe Ogbonna, Igbanibo Tari, Ekperi Kenneth, Kemefie Ebimene and Chukwuma Lawrence, most of them final year students of the Niger Delta University, Amassoma in Southern Ijaw local council.

The CP noted that despite the deployment of 11 patrol teams in collaboration with the army, civil defence, the vigilante group in Otuoke and the university internal security, the students still went on a shooting spree, leading to a breach of the peace.

“It is disheartening to note these events which occurred at the zone’B’ election for coordinators of NANS, at the federal university, Otuoke, where the students representing universities and higher institutions in the South-south degenerated to the use of firearms,” he said. Also paraded was Princewill Aper who mobilised his cult group, the Greenlander, to attack the complainant, Edidiong Fabian, after alleging breaking into his shop in Ovom, Yenagoa and stealing his money.