The Bauchi State Police Command disclosed that the 500-level Geology student of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, who was stabbed and later succumbed to injuries in the hospital, was attempting to retrieve his girlfriend’s handbag from some attackers when the incident occurred. The final year Geology student, Joseph Agabaidu, according to multiple sources on the campus, was stabbed by some assailants while trying to steal his mobile phone.
Agabaidu, who hails from Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State but is based in Benue State, was said to be the eldest among four children of his family who school at ATBU. He was said to be returning to his lodge situated around the Yelwan Tudu market in the Yelwa area, a suburb of the Bauchi metropolis, at about 7.00 pm on Saturday, when he was attacked and was rushed to the hospital for medical treatment but could not survive the severe injuries from the knife. The incident sparked a protest among students of the school who came out in their numbers at the Yelwa Campus to express their anger at the inadequate security in and around the campus and to call for the attention of the management and the government.
Following the protest, the management, in a statement signed by the Deputy Registrar Academic, Fatima Abdullahi, shut down the school and directed students to vacate the campus immediately because the protest carried out by “miscreants” disrupted the peace being enjoyed on the campus. But the police, in a statement signed and made available to journalists on Wednesday, by its Public Relations Officer, Ahmed Wakil, said that the deceased was with his girlfriend when assailants whose identity and number are still unknown snatched her handbag containing her mobile phone.
Wakil added that when the deceased tried to retrieve his girlfriend’s bag, they stabbed him on the side of his chest but he later died while on admission at the ATBU Teaching Hospital.
He said: “Commissioner of Police Bauchi State Command, CP Auwal Mohammed received in the audience the leadership of two student bodies (NUBAS and SUG ) in his office at the State Command Headquarters.
“Their visits were prompted by the recent incident which occurred on 2nd December 2023 where some unknown persons, numbers not ascertained, snatched a handbag containing a mobile phone belonging to a lady, one Philomena Ahobee (28), a student of Abubakar Tatari Polytechnic, Bauchi.
“As a result of which her boyfriend, Agbaidu Joseph, (28) of Anguwan Ngas who is a student of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, tried to help her to retrieve the handbag containing the phone. The assailant(s) stabbed him on the left side of his chest with a sharp knife. “The victim was rushed to Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital, Bauchi for treatment but he was certified dead while on admission by a medical doctor.”
The PPRO said that the leadership of the students union while addressing the CP, kicked against the “violent protest by some erring students of the university” and applauded the CP for his swift response and for nipping it in the bud with the “violent protesters.”
He said that the student leaders presented a letter of request to the Commissioner of Police soliciting more security presence around their communities and “in his response, the Commissioner of Police began by observing a minute of silence in honor of the deceased.”
Wakil said that while accepting the letter, the CP assured them of the deployment of the Intelligence and operational assets of the Command to the affected areas and also ordered the posting of more personnel and patrol vans for constant visibility patrol in the area.
“The Commissioner of Police reiterated that the basic obligation of the police is to protect the lives and properties of the citizens, excessive use of force to quench violence is not the only last available option to a police officer in matters of conflict and crisis resolution.
“He said that in the process of policing society, certain ‘unavoidable problems’ come to the fore, saying that even at such, there is a need for utmost demonstration of professionalism,” he said.
He quoted the police boss as saying: “Right cannot be fought through violence but by way of reconciliation.”
According to him, the Police commissioner said that it was wrong for the students to have taken laws into their own hands in a matter that only the higher institutions and other relevant stakeholders can adjudicate, “thereby creating a vacuum for unscrupulous persons to hijack the protest and turn it into a violent one leading to a confrontation with the school authority.
“The Commissioner of Police, CP Auwal Muhammed, assured that efforts are being intensified to apprehend the culprit(s) that perpetrated the inhumane dastardly act on the deceased and further assured that justice will be served unfailingly,” he said.