Four students were allegedly shot with one in critical condition when students of the Federal Government-owned Metallurgical Training Institute (MTI), Onitsha took to the streets yesterday.
The students were said to have engaged in violent protest over poor hostel accommodation and rejection of the school’s diploma certificate by other federal institutions, among other agitations.
Trouble started in the school on Wednesday when some graduates of the school, who had gone to Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, Delta State to further their studies were rejected by PTI and allegedly chased out by some security agents attached to the school on the ground that MTI Diploma Certificate was not recognised by the Petroleum Training Institute, which is also a Federal Government-owned institution.The affected students returned to MTI in anger, organised themselves and delegated the Students’ Union Executive and some of the best minds to approach the Director of the school, Mr. I. I. Okonkwo to know his reaction.
On reaching the Director’s office yesterday, the delegation of students was reportedly turned back by the school’s boss, who was also accused of not showing enough sympathy to the plight of the students.
Angered by the development, the students immediately mobilised themselves, started rioting and allegedly vandalised some of the school property like Plasma TV and Computer sets. About 15 vehicles belonging to the staff and management were also destroyed.
Sensing danger, the institute’s director, reportedly ran into his office with some members of senior staff of the school in a bid to escape the students’ wrath.
The rampaging students also trooped into the main road and blocked the ever busy Onitsha-Owerri Expressway and it took the spirited efforts of the Commissioner of Police, Anambra State Command, Hosea Karma, who led other police officers and men from Awada, Okpoko and Obosi divisions before the situation could be brought under control.