Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Jonathan’s visit: OAU students clash, six injured


No fewer than six students were injured during a clash among some students of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, on Sunday evening.

While some of the eyewitnesses described the fight as a power tussle between students who were loyal to the President of the Student Union, Ibikunle Isaac, and those of the Vice-President, Oladejo Olufunmi, others described it as a cult attack.

Some of the students, who suffered varying degrees of injuries, were rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment.

One of them, Tedy, was allegedly stabbed with a pointed object suspected to be a screw driver, while another student, David, was dealt a matchete cut on his head.

Chief Security Officer of the university, Mr. Paul Ogidi, said there was no cult attack in the institution.

“It is true that our students fought. There was no cult attack on our campus. We did not witness any attack, but a fight among our students,” he said.

But the Vice-President of the Students Union, Funmi Oladejo, insisted that what happened on the campus could be likened to 1999 cult attack that claimed the lives of students.

She denied the fight as being factional, but hinted that the controversy that surrounded the presence of Jonathan on the university campus last Friday contributed to the cause of the fight.

She said, “I was to have a meeting at the SUB yesterday (Sunday) around 6pm. On getting there, I met a student, Sanyaolu Oluwajuwon, inside the gutter, where he had been seriously beaten and I wondered what happened. After a while, the injured students went to show the injury to others and that enraged many students."

“Meanwhile, what started the fight, I heard, was that ERC were having its meeting when the President and the PRO passed through the place and saw them. He then called his boys to come, saying some people were having an opposition meeting at the SUB."

“After beating them up, they ran away except Teddy that waited. We later realised that those that ran to town went to hire cult members, who came with machetes.   We eventually caught four of them. Two were students and two were non-students."

When asked if the fight was connected to Jonathan’s visit, she responded, “As far as I am concern, that is to mess up the whole issue. They want to make it a partisan stuff and that is out of sense. Our unionism is known to be independent and non-partisan. So, the case of Jonathan’s visit was sardonic. They (Ibikunle’s faction) wanted to pay back the opposition that greeted Jonathan’s visit.”

It was learnt that the two of the arrested people involved in the fight were taken by students to the Awolowo Hall of the university, while the security officials took another two students involved in the fight.

The President of the SU, Isaac Ibikunle, told our correspondent that none of his loyalists were cult members.

He promised to call back to give his “full reaction” after a meeting expected to be held between members of the executive and the parliament today (Monday).

The Public Relations Officer of the union, Oludare Bamidele, said, “It remains a sardonic issue that suspended students are beating legitimate students on OAU campus right now. Is this intellectual struggle? The act of dragging a security official to be beaten is an affront to law and arrival of the hobbesian state of nature.”

Osun State Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Sade Odoro, said those involved in the fight were not cultists.

She said, “OAU students truly fought and they were taken to the police station. The police counselled and released them after a while.”

Public Relations Officer of OAU, Mr. Biodun Olarewaju, confirmed that the students fought over Jonathan’s visit to the institution.

He said, “There was no cult invasion in OAU. Our campus is too fortified for that to occur. Our security go on regular patrol and we are in collaboration with external security forces."

“What happened was just a fight between two groups of students.

“Some believe that it was wrong for another to take picture and welcome the President, Jonathan, while others believe it is not, especially when it is done without their consent.

“It is just a friendly fight. All that happened was that a group felt they were not carried along.”


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