One week after at least two students of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, were killed, President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the construction of boreholes in the university.
The students were killed last week Monday while protesting the absence of potable water and electricity in their institution. Soldiers, in a bid to disperse the protesters fired live bullets and killed at least two of them, witnesses said. Initial reports say four students were killed while the police say only two were killed.
However, on Monday, President Goodluck Jonathan apparently trying to resolve the reason for the protest, approved N20 million to the management of the university for the construction of bore holes.
The university is wholly owned by Nasarawa State.
Jude Imagwe, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Youth and Student Matters, presented the letter of approval for the boreholes to the Vice Chancellor of the University, Shamsudeen Amali, when he led other student union bodies to the university school.
He quoted Mr. Jonathan as saying that the gesture was aimed at enhancing availability of water as well as to reduce the plight of students, which led to last week students’ unrest.
“I am disturbed and worried about what happened in which some students lost their lives as a result of the protest,” the presidential aide quoted the president as saying.
“The sum of N20 million was approved to the institution to enable it sink more bore holes in order to reduce the problem of inadequate water supply in the institution.
“He who provides water provides life. Life will be unbearable to the students if there is scarcity of water in the campus. They (students) will not even concentrate on their academic activities at the same time,” he added.
The president also described the incident that led to the killing of the university students as unfortunate and uncalled-for.
He urged the student union bodies to always employ dialogue and peaceful means in fighting for their rights.
According to him, there is the need for students to re-orientate themselves on issues affecting their lives.
Responding, the vice chancellor thanked the president for the gesture, saying it would go a long way in addressing the water scarcity.
Mr. Amali promised to make judicious use of the money for the purpose it was meant.
He denied inviting military personnel to quell the students’ protest that led to the killing of two students of the institution.
Some state lawmakers also visited the university.
Mohammed Ibaku (PDP-Udege), Dogara Sa’aka (PDP-Kokona west) and Sidi Bako (PDP-Obi 1), the State House of Assembly Chairmen on Security, Education and Water Resources respectively, led other members of the House to the university.
They visited the university to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the protest.
The lawmakers said that their mission was also to find out who sent soldiers to quell the students’ protest in the institution with a view to bringing them to book.
The President of the Students Union Government of the University, Rabiu Tijani, thanked President Jonathan for the gesture, saying the steps taken by the state legislature to bring the perpetrators of the act to book was laudable.