Two weeks after four students of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) were killed by a mob in Omuokiri, Aluu, tragedy struck in another host community of the institution as unknown gunmen killed another student of the school, his girlfriend and an ex-member of the National Youth Service Corps.
The incident occurred at Rumuchakara village in Choba community, the major host community of the university. THISDAY gathered that the former corps member, who only passed out on Thursday, decided to celebrate his graduation from the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) with his friends.
The ex-corps member was said to have gone out with the two friends to celebrate his graduation from the service and were returning from the outing when the car they were driving in skidded off the road and ran into a shop in the village.
Though no life was lost after the accident, an argument was said to have ensued between the owner of the shop and the occupants of the car. It was at that point that some men in an SUV arrived at the scene of the incident and opened fire on the crowd, killing the ex-corps member, the Uniport student and his girl friend, on the spot.
According to an eyewitness who would not give his name, “The corps member and his friends were drunk while driving and their vehicle ran into a shop. There was a serious argument between them and the owner of the shop.
“Within a short time, a group of men in an SUV came out and opened fire on the three persons, who died on the spot. The gunmen immediately drove away without any challenge.” The names of those killed by the gunmen could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this report.
Reacting to the incident, the institution’s public relations officer, Dr. Williams Wodi, said the university was shut down while students were asked to leave the hostels and go back to their various homes.
Wodi explained that the reason for such directive was for the management of the institution to re-evaluate the security situation on campus, adding that he was not in a position to speak for students expected to be currently under their parents’ care.
Confirming the incident, the state’s police public relations officer, Mr. Ben Ugwuegbulam, said security agencies had begun investigations into the matter. Ugwuegbulam said the incident occurred around 9.30pm on Thursday. He assured the public that those behind the killings would be apprehended and brought to justice.