From William Nlanjerbor Jalulah, Sandema
Sandema Senior High Technical/School in the Builsa North District of the Upper East Region was temporarily closed down on Wednesday after rioting students clashed with the police on Tuesday night leading to the death of a first year male student.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) of Builsa North, David Afoko, who confirmed the incident and death of the student in interview with The Chronicle, said a five-member committee had been set up to probe into the disturbances. Another student, female, sustained injuries and is now on admission at the Sandema Government Hospital.
The riot, according to the DCE, was triggered when the school Cadet Corps attempted to sack students during prep hours, with the reason that they had over stayed the normal hours.
This brought about a misunderstanding between students and the cadets, but a teacher intervened and the cadets suspended their action.
Mr. Afoko said after the teacher left, the students who were still angry about the action of the Cadet Corps, mobilised and attacked the cadets in retaliation.
In the ensuing violence, the police were called in to control the situation, but some students pelted them with stones and all kinds of offensive objects.
The DCE, who is also the Chairman of the District Security Committee (DISEC), further explained that the police fired warning shots to ward off the rioting students, but would not confirm or admit that the student was shot and killed by the police.
Meanwhile, reliable information gathered by this reporter indicated that the student was hit by a bullet when the police fired warning shots.
A source narrated to this reporter: “The student was shot at close range by a police officer. When he [now deceased] fell down and was struggling to breathe, we tried to rescue him but the police chased us away. They later picked him and took him to Sandema Hospital and later we heard he was dead.”
Mr. Afoko said after a DISEC meeting on Wednesday that the committee visited the school and there was still tension, so an emergency meeting was held with management, during which they reached an agreement that the institution be closed down for two weeks.
Subsequently, a five-member committee of inquiry was set up to look into the disturbances.
The committee has three weeks to submit its findings and recommendations.
The committee was composed of one staff of the Ghana Education Service, one from the District Assembly, one from the Board of Directors of the school, and two from the security.
According to the DCE, the rioting students destroyed motorbikes and a vehicle belonging to their teachers.
They also attacked some teachers who had to run for their lives.
The Chronicle gathered that before the decision to close down the school on Wednesday, some students vacated the school on the night of the riot, for fear of reprisal attacks.