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DESOPADEC Bursary Protest: IPDI Condemns alleged police shooting, brutalization of students

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•Demands culprits arrested and brought to book with immediate effect

• Asks DESOPADEC leadership to pay all outstanding bursary payments

•Police deny alleged shooting of protesting students

By Teide Emomotimi

The Ijaw People’s Development Initiative IPDI has strongly condemned the alleged police shooting, intimidation and brutalization of students at the gate of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, Warri Delta State on Wednesday.

The group called on the Commissioner of Police in Delta state to investigate the police personnel involved in the dastardly act in a view to bringing them to book.

It would be recalled that students of Delta State origin from various varsities stormed the commission to protest over the non-payment of outstanding bursary allowances on Wednesday.

(Student allegedly shot)

It was learnt that trigger-happy police personnel attached to the commission allegedly shot teargas and brutalized protesting varsity students for demanding outstanding bursary payments.

(Student allegedly tortured)

IPDI, in a statement by its national president, Comrade Ozobo Austin said it was the constitutional right of the students to protest over their legitimate right to bursary entitlements in the commission.

According to him, the alleged action of the police is unlawful, barbaric, provocative and an attempt to infringe on the rights of the students to peaceful assembly and bursary entitlements.

He insisted that the police personnel who recklessly shot bullets bought with the student’s oil money brutalized and assaulted them primitively be arrested and prosecuted without further delay.

The group threatened to drag the commission to court for failure of the commission to prosecute the erring police personnel and timely pay the student’s bursary allowances, adding that the alleged police action could incite public unrest and chaos if not addressed timely.

However, police debunked allegations of shooting protesting students at the DESOPADEC gate on Wednesday.

Speaking to a Congress reporter on the telephone, the Delta State Police command’s spokesman, DSP Bright Edafe said the police only shot teargas to disperse the protesting students.

He insisted that it was within the ambit of the law for the police to shoot teargas to disperse protesters who are turning violent.

“Police didn’t shoot any student, please tell anyone claiming to have been shot to come out and report. We will take up the case from there,” he added.