Students of the Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun, Delta State, have maintained that their reaction to the ‘strange’ visitors to their school last week was due to the security situation in the state.
The police and state tax officials that visited the school last week to arrest the chief accountant for non-remission of taxes had complained of assault by the students.
The Chief Security Officer of the school had reportedly mobilised the students, who locked all exits from the institution against the law enforcement agents.
But in a response by the National Association of Nigerian Students, the body condemned the action of the police, noting that the officers acted crudely, considering the rampant cases of kidnapping in the state.
NANS Zone B Coordinator, Chinonso Obasi, noted that Nigerian students in PTI did not take any policeman or tax officer hostage as alleged, but were only reacting to an unusual situation.
“Considering the security situation in the country and the series of kidnapping that had been taking place in the institute lately, security personnel, students and staff are always on the alert against any recurrence that could pose a threat to life and property in the institute,” noted NANS.
The students said that a top management employee of the school had been seized earlier this month, using the same tactics.
“On June 10, 2012, a management staff member of the institute was kidnapped by persons who impersonated police officers and took him away in a vehicle with government’s official number plate. He was later released on June 14 in Bayelsa State,” explained the student body.
According to the students, the police and tax officers ignored security interrogation at the institute’s main gate and forced their way through to the administrative building, where they forcibly took one Akamune of the Accounting Department into their vehicle after manhandling him.
“The police force and concerned agencies should endeavour to discharge their duties in a manner that conforms to law and order,” the students said.