A petrol dealer is on the run after allegedly dousing a varsity student, Enwongo Akpan, with petrol and setting him on fire during an argument in Obio Akpa, Oruk Anam Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom.
On Saturday, July 9, a 200-level student from Akwa Ibom State University’s (AKSU) Department of Philosophy, Obio Akpa campus, accused a roadside petrol vendor of selling adulterated product.
According to the Daily Trust, Akpan purchased N500 fuel from a dealer and poured it into the tank of his generator, but it failed to provide electricity.
He returned to the roadside petrol station for an explanation, believing the fuel was tainted.
The confrontation escalated into an argument, which resulted in an exchange of words, and the petrol dealer poured gasoline on Akpan, setting him ablaze.
According to Idongesit Akpan, an eyewitness, the dealer collected the petrol, poured it on his victim, and lit matches, igniting him while others fled for safety.
According to Akpan, the victim was rescued by villagers and students, who rushed him to Mercy Hospital in Abak for immediate treatment and then informed the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof Nse Essien, about the incident.
“The incident attracted attention of community leaders such as former Chairman of OrukAnam, Prince Ubong Idiong who prevailed on students to forestall a reprisal attack . The victim was later transferred to another hospital in Uyo for better treatment,” he said.
SP Odiko Mcdon, spokesperson for the State Police Command, confirmed the incident and said the police were looking for the suspect who fled the scene of the crime before officers arrived.
“I am aware of the incident. The suspect fled the scene, but police are on his tail and he will undoubtedly be apprehended “According to the PPRO.
Meanwhile, in a statement, the Akwa Ibom State University Students’ Press urged students to remain calm.
“Enwongo has been transfered to UUTH, Uyo from Mercy Hospital, Abak for adequate medical attention,” the statement read.
“We appreciate the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Nse Essien, The Dean of Students Affairs, Dr Monday Dickson and Hon. Sampson Idiong for their swift response as they have assured immediate security actions against the culprit.
“We call on the students community to keep calm as the Vice-Chancellor, Dean of Students Affairs and the Village Head have put things under control.
“We further plead to Akwa Ibom State Government that adequate measures of security be taken to keep the students safe in Obio Akpa community safe as the clashes between students and indigenes have become a reoccurring and uncontrollable event.“
Also, the National Association of Nigerian Students, has condemned the attack and demanded immediate arrest of the culprit.
A statement signed by Comr. Ekanem Utibe Jnr, Public Relations Officer & Special Duties, NANS Zone B,South South, decries the alleged maltreatment of students in the community.