Hundreds of Kano State students on Thursday protested against the closure of schools by the Abdulahhi Ganduje-led administration in the state.
This is even as heavily armed policemen dispersed hundreds of the protesting students of Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education.
Also at Kano Aminu Kano School of Legal Studies, hundreds of students on protest were dispersed by the Police.
The angry students, who were angry over the decision of the government to shut down their institutions midway into the semester examination, had earlier barricaded the busy Kano-Zaria highway and the BUK roads, obstructing free vehicular movements for several hours.
Trouble started in the early hours of Wednesday when the students who have arrived at their various institutions early enough to sit for the exams, were denied entrance by the security; bearing no notification or prior knowledge of school closure.
The students wondered why the authorities would jeopardize the interest of students with what they considered a drastic measure without adequately putting into consideration the implication on the society.
One of the student leaders, who preferred to remain anonymous for fear of victimization, revealed how the security operatives in their numbers forcefully sent them away and dispersed the crowd with tear gas, leaving innocent students scampering for safety.
Although no casualty was recorded, some students were said to have sustained injuries while attempting to escape the security bombardment.
“ We were at home for eight months idle. Nobody worries what impact that has caused the students. Now, we are just starting our examination, the government ordered for another closure without considering our interest. I think it is the most unfortunate thing. No prior notice, no information, just like that. You are at the school and somebody will tell you the school has closed for no reason,” he lamented.
Another student, who also narrated the incident, said about eight security vehicles with security men were seen shooting sporadically and fired tear gas to disperse students away from the school gate.
“What I noticed was that the gates were locked and later we heard the security men saying there is no school. So, many people were angry, especially when you have exams to write. That was how the protest started. Roads were blocked and no movement. Suddenly the Police came and started shooting tear gas, sending people away,” the student who gave his name as Aminu narrated.
However, the Provost of the Saadatu Rimi College, Dr. Yahaya Bunkure, who confirmed the development, revealed that the unfortunate protest was hijacked by hoodlums who took advantage of the angry students to barricade the major highway.
Dr. Yahaya told journalists that the institution had alerted the security to prevent possible breakdown of law and order when the situation was gradually going beyond a peaceful protest.
“It was a peaceful protest indeed by the students who were obviously showing their displeasure on government closure of the institution and I’m sure everybody was aware it was not ours alone that was closed for reasons best known to the government. But we noticed the demonstration was about to be hijacked by some hoodlums around who have already barricaded the high way. That was why we alerted the security and the situation was brought under control,” Dr Bunkure noted.
Late on Tuesday, Kano state government announced closure of all schools, including public and private higher institutions, health training colleges with immediate effect.
Although, there was no specific reason attached to the sudden declaration, the prevailing security threat across the country especially the recent Kankara, Katsina school attack where 333 students are still missing cannot be overemphasized.
Also, the rising case of COVID-19 pandemic in the state may not be farfetched.