By Laleye Dipo in Minna
A lecturer at the Federal Polytechnic, Bida in Niger State, and eight other students are said to be critically injured in a conflict between students of the institution and some drivers.
Three other students who were reported to have been stabbed were feared to have died
The face-off between the drivers and students also reportedly degenerated into a communal clash as some natives vowed to avenge the death of the driver believed to be an indigene of the town.
It was learnt that trouble started when some students boarded a commercial vehicle from an unknown place with Bida as their destination.
THISDAY learnt that the students wanted the driver to take them to their campus but the driver said the normal stopping place for all commercial vehicles was at their terminal.
The driver was said to have taken the students to the terminal, but immediately they alighted, it was said that the students attacked the driver and the conflict which later ensued attracted natives who defended the driver.
According to a THISDAY source, when the students were overpowered, they ran to their campus to mobilise other students, making the incident to become a free for all during which many dangerous weapons were used by the combatants.
It was learnt that efforts by men of the vigilante and the police to quell the crisis was abortive resulting in people that had no business being attacked.
Some vehicles were said to have had their windscreens smashed while a motorcycle was burnt to ashes.
Two of those injured — the lecturer and an okada rider — according to the source, were rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Bida for treatment but the health institution reportedly turned back six other victims for lack of space in the hospital.
In the meantime, soldiers had been drafted to strategic areas of the town to help bring the situation under control.
Efforts to speak to the Rector of the Polytechnic, Dr Abubakar Zukogi, on the issue was abortive as he was said to be in a meeting with some members of the institution’s academic board.
The Police Public Relations Officer in Minna, DSP Muhammad Abubakar, when contacted, pleaded for time “to get the real situation on the ground”.
“I will get back to you very soon,” Abubakar said but as at the time of filing this report, he was yet to get in touch.