Lokoja - No fewer than 25 students of the Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja, have been arrested over Friday’s alleged killing of Anthony Abimaje, a senior lecturer of the institution.
The Polytechnic Rector, Prof. Mathew Ajibero, told newsmen in lokoja on Monday that suspects included two females.
Ajibero said Abimaje was not killed by cultists as reported by a section of the press, saying that he died while trying to mediate in a feud between two tribal groups of students.
He said a fight between female students from Igala and Ebira earlier in the day degenerated into a tribal clash between Igala and Ebira students on the campus.
The rector said that then deceased lecturer got wind of the crisis and rushed to the scene to nip it in the bud.
Ajibero said it was in the process of intervening that he was stabbed in the neck by one of the rioters.
He said the lecturer slumped on the spot and was rushed to a nearby clinic where he was confirmed dead few minutes later.
The rector said that he had ordered the indefinite closure of the school, adding that the polytechnic would remain closed until normalcy returned to the campus.
He said rivalry among ethnic student groups had been a major challenge confronting the institution.
He said all efforts to resolve this, including rotation of the students’ union positions among the dominant ethnic groups, was yet to yield the desired result.
The rector said the management of the institution had constituted a high level investigation panel to look into immediate and remote causes of the April 19 crisis.
He warned that any students indicted by the panel would be handed over to the police for prosecution.
He commended the Police Command in the state for its timely intervention, which he said, assisted in preventing the crisis from spreading to the entire campus.