Masquerades, students’ clash: 14 arraigned in court

…as Local Government bans masquerades in Oko
AWKA – FOURTEEN persons arrested by the police on Monday in connection with violent clash between students of Federal Polytechnic, Oko, and masquerades in the town would appear in court today.

Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Anambra State police command, Mr. Emeka Chukwuemeka, told newsmen yesterday that the clash had been brought under control, adding that the police had to mobilize more men when it learnt of a threat by the villagers to attack the polytechnic main campus on Monday night. The PPRO said his men had to supervise evacuation of the students out of Oko following the threat.

Meanwhile, transition chairman of Orumba North local government area, Mr. Emeka Aforka, has announced decision of the local government to ban all kinds of masquerades in the area.

Aforka, who was exchanging views with the Rector of the Polytechnic, Prof Godwin Onu, when he visited the polytechnic to assess the situation, also announced that the council had set up a committee to look into the cause of the clash.

The chairman regretted that Oko community had refused to comply with the directive of numbering masquerades for easy identification as decided by the local government and traditional rulers’ council, adding that since the traditional stool of the community could not resolve the lingering crisis created by masquerades, the council had no option than to ban them from appearing in public henceforth.

According to him, anybody who contravened the directive would face the full weight of the law because the present administration in the state was determined to prevent such incident in future.

The Rector, on his part, said the Polytechnic had also set up a nine-member committee to look into the matter, adding that the committee is expected to submit its final report in two weeks.

He explained that the committee, which is headed by the institution’s director of academic planning, Dr. Obi Okpala was mandated to determine causes of the disturbances and assess the extent of damage and also proffer solution to the problem and recommend ways of avoiding future occurrence.

The Rector, who visited the hospitals where the injured persons were receiving treatment, promised to pay the hospital bills of the victims.

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