Army authorities and police command in Bauchi State have reacted separately over student unrest at the College of Education Kangere over disagreements in the course of Student Union Election in the school.
While the police claim to have brought the situation under control and made arrests, the Army authority denied ever brutalizing students in the course of their intervention in the matter.
Things went awry in the course of the election allegedly due to ethno/religious conflict, leading to the postponement of the Exercise in order to avert total breakdown of law and order in the School.
Following the postponement, hoodlums from the school and neighboring Community went on rampage and blocked the Bauchi- Gombe Federal highway harassing innocent Citizens.
However, before the arrival of the Police to the scene the military had already dispersed the rioters and arrested Thirty two (32) suspects.
Explaining the incident further, SP Haruna Mohammed, PPRO Bauchi State Police Command, said, “Police Patrol Teams have been deployed to the Area, normalcy has been restored in the school and the road blockage opened to enable free flow of traffic.”
“Meanwhile, Eight persons who sustained various degrees of injuries were rushed to Specialist Hospital Bauchi for treatment and suspects arrested were handed over to the police for discreet investigation after which they would be charged to Court for prosecution,” the police spokesman said.
But there were also charges of brutality and abuse by the army before the arrival of the police.
Major Joseph Adekunle Afolasade, spokesperson for 33 Brigade Nigerian Army Headquarters, Bauchi, denied the allegation, stating that its men helped restore order in the vicinity.
“The attention of soldiers located 300 metres away from College of Education Kangere, was drawn to a public disturbance and protest which turned violent by some students of the College. This led to blockade of the busy Bauchi-Gombe Federal Highway. The rampaging students and hoodlums that joined them in their hundreds from the school and the neighbouring community continued with their violent protest and blocking of the road,” Afolasade said.
“The Platoon Commander in charge of the troops quickly informed the Police of what was happening. But before the Police could arrive, the angry Students blocked the road, burnt tyres on the road and had used dangerous weapons on some of their colleagues. The soldiers had to peacefully disperse the hoodlums without firing a shot contrary to reports by the Social Media platform. The soldiers went out of their way to quench the fires and subsequently opened the blocked road for free movement of both human and vehicular traffic,” Major Folashade concluded.