Several prospective graduates and non-graduating students at the state – run University of Liberia (UL) have been arrested by officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) in response to a wild protest against a deadline set by administration for students to complete their registration process, while prospective graduates also oppose high graduation fees payment under short notice.
Protesting students sought to hold hostage UL President Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks and other UL officials on Monday, 20 November during a protest on the University’s Capitol Hill Campus, vowing not to allow the officials leave from campus without addressing their plights.
The move by the students led to violence between them and UL police officers, with the protesters throwing objects at the campus-based police officers unequipped to withstand the level of violence. The UL administration was compelled to call in the LNP riot police to calm the situation, but the protesters continued throwing stones at the LNP too. Students were chased in the process and some arrests were made by the state police.
The riot police were led on campus by Deputy Police Inspector General for Operations Col. Abraham Kromah under whose directive the protesting students were seen being arrested and handcuffed. Arrested students were seen being placed in the back of a police pick-up and taken to the LNP headquarters on Capitol Hill in Monrovia for investigation.
Addressing Journalists at the end of a consultative meeting meant to address the plight of the protesting students, Vice President for UL Relations Mr. Norris Tweh called on all UL students through the UL Board of Trustees to remain calm and return to classes.The consultative meeting was attended by UL President Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks, Sen. Jewel Howard-Taylor, and other officials of the board.
Mr. Tweh says even though the board met, it was unable to reach any decision in settling the students’ demands. He however says the board is expected to meet the student leadership later today, Tuesday, 21 November.
In the last few days, students of the University of Liberia have been protesting against the deadline set by the UL administration for registration.
When LNP spokesperson Sam Collins was contacted with respect to its intervention on the latest riot on the campus, this paper got no response.
By Emmanuel Mondaye & Samuel P. Kamara–Edited by Winston W. Parley