The Adamawa State Polytechnic Yola (SPY) has been shut down following violence which resulted from what was supposed to be a celebration by some graduating students.
The students were said to have taken to the busy street along which the main campus is located in Jimeta on Thursday afternoon, causing obstruction and prompting intervention from security operatives.
The security operatives, in a joint police-military operation, reportedly fired tear gas to disperse the increasingly unruly youths who piped low only to go wild later and to destroy valuable campus structures.
Management of the polytechnic announced its closure late on Thursday “for security reasons” and asked students to leave campus.
A statement signed by the registrar of the Polytechnic, Mrs Rebecca Kinjir, instructed students who were yet to finish their examination to hold on till after easter break.
Rector of the polytechnic, Professor Ibrahim Umar, who spoke to newsmen late on Thursday, specified that the final year students destroyed a 500-seat multipurpose lecture theatre, Students’ Union Government building and a male hostel during the “unprovoked riot” sparked by revelry and celebration by outgoing students.
He explained, “Outgoing students usually celebrate what they call signing out. Each department celebrates this signing out. They usually go round the campus in celebration. The departments started this on Monday after finishing their exams, that is second semester exam.
“After their exams, Science Laboratory Technology students went to the football pitch to celebrate, but the security men reported to me that what they were doing is going to create problems because they were taking bottles of beer and smoking.
“I asked them to call the union leaders of the department. When the union leaders came, we told them that what they were doing is illegal. We asked them to stop the signing out immediately.
“The Students Affairs Division issued a circular that there should be no more signing out. But this morning when we came in, students from Crime Department also finished their exam around 10:00am and they started the so called so-called and security personnel, civil defence and the students’ union president told them to stop because there was a circular to that effect.
“They started throwing stones at the security personnel. Along the line, they damaged the car of the student union president. From there, they mobilized themselves. They went out of the school premises although security men tried to stop them.
“They became agitated and chased the security men. They came out and moved up to the roundabout. We invited security personnel of Operation Farauta who chased them back to the campus using teargas.