Another protest grounds Rivers State University Over Brutalisation of a Student by Man ‘O’ War Officials

Students of the first State owned University in Nigeria; Rivers State University Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt in their numbers  staged a protest on Thursday over alleged brutalisation of their colleague by officials of the Man ‘O’ War on campus in the Rivers State capital.

What caused the Protest

Victor Tobin, a 300-level student of Sociology was reportedly brutalized  by some Man ‘O’ War personnel. The real cause of his beating is still very scanty. It was gathered that he had walked on the pavement of the Man ‘O’ War office located near Hostel F on the campus on Wednesday morning. This act triggered the anger of the man ‘o’ war personnel. 

When Tobin asked what his offense was, he only received further beatings as response to his question. The Man ‘O’ War personnel left the undergrad with several degrees of cuts and a swollen eye.

The unfortunate news spread around the campus making students gather at the Man O War office to demand why Tobin was subjected to such human rights abuse, resulting in a protest.

The angry students demanded for an immediate disbandment of Man ‘O’ War in the institution. The students in solidarity said they would not sit back and watch any of their colleagues subjected to any inhumane treatment.

An unidentified student has this to say  “This is a university and we are adults. If they feel that our colleague has committed any offense, the right thing to do so is to take him to the appropriate authority in the school or hand him over to the police.

“But subjecting him to such inhuman treatment is unacceptable. That is why we are protesting and we demand that the so-called Man ‘O’ War in RSU should be disbanded immediately. We will not tolerate them anymore.”

The prostest temporarirly terminated peace moves initiated by management

The university’s management and the Students’ Union Government were having a meeting over the issue. But the protest truncated the meeting, as students allegedly threatened to attack the personnel if they didn’t leave the campus.

The protest takes another dimension as the students attempted to attack the Man O War personnel. At this point, men of the Nigeria Police arrived at the scene, quelled the situation and successfully prevented a breakdown of law and order.

Hear what the President of the Student Union, Abinye Pepple, said as he was addressing newsmen. Pepple said, “Firstly, I have to express my complete displeasure with the Man O War for carrying out that brutal act on one of my students and understand the frustration of my students that protested today.

“I also called the Vice Chancellor last night and expressed my displeasure and he immediately set up a meeting with management, SUG and the Man ‘O’ War so we can have a fair hearing on the matter and a decision can be taken on the Man O War on campus.

“That meeting was abruptly halted when we got wind of the protest and had to rush down there to restore order to our peaceful and loving students who were simply displeased with the act carried out on one of their own.

“Myself and the VC addressed the students and the VC assured the students that a decision will be made tomorrow (Friday) morning in another meeting that has been scheduled. Our peaceful students eventually dispersed back to their respective classrooms and calm has been restored.”

While noting that though the claims of the Man O War contradicted the story of the brutalized student, he said the VC had intervened, saying, “As a father to us and as responsible students, we await his decision after the meeting on Friday.”

Official statement by the Acting Registrar

Addressing the issue, the Acting Registrar of the institution, Mrs. I. B. S. Harry, in a statement on Thursday confirmed the attack on the student, saying management had convened an emergency meeting with the students’ leadership and the accused personnel to get to the root of the matter.

The statement read, “This is to inform parents and the general public that on Wednesday, 12th June, 2024, there was a misunderstanding between some students and members of the Man O’ War at Hostel F in the Rivers State University, Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt, which resulted  in physical injury on a student on campus.

“In order to resolve the misunderstanding and avert further action, the university Management promptly held an emergency meeting on Thursday 13th June, 2024 with the Executives of the Students Union Government and the Man O’ War, to ascertain the remote and immediate causes of the problem.

“The university management intends to hold another meeting tomorrow, Friday, 14th June 2024 to meet with those involved, but were not present at today’s meeting to finally resolve the issue.

“We assure parents and guardians that the matter has been brought under control and lectures are ongoing. Students are therefore advised to go about their lawful activities on Campus.”

According to  PUNCH Online “when contacted, the spokesperson for the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, said she was yet to get an official report on the incident from the Divisional Police Officer.

When PUNCH Online called her a second time, she promised to give feedback but had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report on Thursday evening.”


Gradually Nigeria and Nigerians keep recording instances of brutality. If it is not on the road by uniform military personnel, it might be brutality by security orderly assigned to highly placed individuals, celebrities, politicians, etc. Civil Defense Corps, Police, even Boys Scout have been reported to brutalize Nigerians.

Nigerians including students should be fairly treated at all time especially when they are not convicted by any court of competent juridiction.

Did you think that the students acted prudently in this protest? Let us know your take on this issue in the comment section below.

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