5 Mar 2015

Police open fire on protesting JAMB candidates in Jos

Hundreds of candidates, wishing to sit Monday’s Unified Tertiary and Matriculation Examination of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, narrowly escaped death in Jos on Wednesday when policemen opened fire on them.

It was learnt that policemen were called in to maintain law and order following the unruly behaviour of the applicants, who became restive over the inability of the board to release their examination slips.

The students gathered at the Muritala Mohammed Way office of JAMB following announcements that they could collect the details of their examination centres from the board.

It was gathered that the students were asked by JAMB officials to leave their slips and come later to collect their details.

It was learnt that the authorities were overwhelmed by the number of students, who converged on the office, coupled with the slow pace of processing of the information.

The students were said to have become restive when their examination details appeared not to be in sight.

In the confusion that ensued, the officials closed their offices and asked the candidates to come back on Thursday.

At this juncture, the applicants we said to have started smashing doors and windows of the offices.

The policemen were said to have fired gunshots in the air to disperse the candidates.

One of the candidates, who identified herself as Kemi, expressed dismay at the development, saying the officials were endangering the applicants’ lives.

She faulted JAMB for choosing its office as the only centre to get the information instead of decentralising the process.

She said many students might have been knocked down by motorists fleeing from the gunshots.

She said, “The huge number of candidates at the office is enough to attract any suicide bomber and in the event of any such incident, the casualties would be monumental.”

Police Public Relations Officer, Plateau State Police Command, Emmanuel Abuh, told Punch that the police were called in to maintain law and order after the candidates became riotous.

Credit: Jude Owuamanam/Punch

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