Lagos - The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on Friday declared seven-day mourning for five of its officers who lost their lives to a road accident on Thursday.
The NANS President, Yinka Gbadebo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the mourning would be observed as from Monday.
The NANS Senate President, Mr Donald Onukaogu, and four others died at Ariam-Ndioru Junction on the Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene Road, on their way to Uyo on an official mission.
Four of the victims died on the spot, while one died on the way to a hospital.
The accident involved a truck and a mini-bus belonging to NANS.
Gbadebo told NAN that the death was painful.
He noted that the students were on their way to the University of Uyo to intervene in a crisis that erupted in the school.
Gbadebo said that he was to be part of the NANS contingent to Uyo but had to step down to be able to attend another official assignment.
He said that the union would work in conjunction with the families of the dead officers for their burial, since they died in the course of duty.
Gbadebo regretted that more than 25 Nigerian students had lost their lives this year to unrest in higher institutions of learning.
NAN reports that students of the University of Uyo on Wednesday staged a protest against payment of N2000 as "GST" fee, which, they said, had not been in place.
The students also protested an increase in the inter-campus transport fare from N50 to N200.
They equally protested poor power and potable water supply and poor sanitation on campus.
They called for the removal of the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Comfort Ekpo.
NAN gathered that the protesting students became violent and threw stones and bottles at policemen who attempted to throw teargas at them to forestall breakdown of law and order.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Umar Gwadabe, confirmed the death of a student to the crisis.
Gwadabe said on Thursday that, contrary to speculations that three students died, the police could confirm the death of one.
He said that 45 students had been arrested by the police in connection with the protest.
NAN reports that the protesting students burnt the offices of the university’s vice-chancellor, deputy vice-chancellor (administration) and the institution’s council affairs unit.
Meanwhile, the university has been closed down indefinitely by the authorities.