Peter Ofurum was a final year engineering student of the University of Port Harcourt who was shot dead on Monday while the students of Uni Port protested the hike in tuition fees.
The students were protesting against the increase of their tuition fees and the no fees no exams policy enacted by the school by Vice Chancellor Prof. Ndowa Lale.
A concerned Nigerian Justice Nsiegbe wrote on Facebook:
“LIKE A CANDLE IN THE WIND”
Here today, and gone tomorrow. Life is so ephemeral. This death is one death that should touch the heart of every person of conscience. I put myself in the shoes of the parents of this young man that has been so wickedly gunned down in his prime. I understand that this lad is a final year student of engineering at University of Port Harcourt. I have a son in the university and l know what it takes to see your child through the university. Nobody knew how the parents were able to bring their child to the level he was before he was gunned down. Nobody knows what deprivations the parents and even his siblings must have suffered to see their love one become a graduate. His parents must have waited to begin to reap the fruit of their labor seeing that their son was in his final year. That dream had been cut short, and cut short for ever!
Did he deserve to die? Of curse not! He died protesting ( peacefully though ) over the hike in tuition fees at Uniport. The outcome of his protest would not have been his personal gain alone, it would have the gain of all the students of Uniport. What a compassionate heart l find in him; because he must have been aware that there are some students out there who will not be able to cope with the increase in fees. And the only way he can show concern is by drawing the attention of the school authorities to the unnecessary hike in tuition. Unfortunately he draw their attention with his most cherished possession – his life. He laid down his young and promising life so that others students can go to school without necessarily bothering about how they can pay their fees. I think we can call home a martyr, a martyr for academic growth.
It is so sad to note that our police force is not in tune with modernity. The United Nations reorganizes the right of a people to a peaceful protest. Why should our Police force that are trained ( did l just say trained ) with tax payers money, arm theirselves to the teeth, just to quell a peaceful protest in a school community, but cannot prevent the snatching of ballot boxes in an election.
The VC Uniport should go! The person that ordered that the police should go and quell a peaceful protest using life ammunitions, should go. The bullet that killed the young man should be subjected to a thorough forensic examination with the aim of knowing which officer was allocated the murder bullet. In the recent past, we have seen violent protest in different parts of the world and we have seen how the police in those clime quelled such protest without the loss of human life. Is our police bereft of modern tactics and know how, on how to quell protest without lives being lost? Have they not heard of water cannon. Have they not heard of rubber bullet? Have they not heard of tear gas. Modern policing, these days the world over,do not use maximum ( lethal ) force against a defenseless people.
Don’t be deceived, the police (particularly the Nigerian police ) obviously is not your friend!
My dear Peter Ofurum, be consoled and go to sleep with 2 TIMOTHY 4:7