The Ekiti Police Command on Wednesday debunked the claim that the police had killed some students of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE), who protested against epileptic power supply to the institution on Tuesday evening.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the protest had led to the suspension of the tour of the 16 local government areas by Mrs Bisi Fayemi, wife of Gov. Kayode Fayemi by one day, while the university authorities had announced the indefinite closure of the school.
The institution’s authorities had proscribed the students union body, while the tour of the local councils by the governor’s wife continues on Sept. 12.
DSP Caleb Ikechukwu, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Command, said, however, that he was not aware of any death emanating from the students protests.
Ikechukwu described the death story in a statement he released in Ado-Ekiti as “baseless, unfounded and only intends to incite and create panic in the minds of the peace-loving people of Ekiti and the general public”.
He noted that a weapon was recovered from one of the protesting students, adding that the quick intervention of the police at the scene prevented further damage to public and private properties.
“The police officers at the scene pacified the protesting students, removed the blockade they erected and dispersed them peacefully.
“However, the protesting students turned around in their numbers and took their plight to Her Excellency, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, the wife of Gov. Kayode Fayemi, who was at an empowerment programme in the town.
“The protesting students suddenly became unruly, hostile and took laws into their hands, and vandalised the motorcade of the governors wife.
“The protesting students did not stop at that, they also assaulted the policemen who were at the scene to maintain law and order, and damaged police vehicle found at the scene.
“Investigation is ongoing to bring the perpetrators to book,” Ikechukwu said.
“Further developments will be communicated in due course,” the statement quoted the vice-chancellor as saying.
The university condemned the violence that followed the protest by the students against the epileptic power supply to the community.
“Our findings revealed that the students gathered themselves and blocked the Abuja-Ado and Ijan-Ikole highways from the early hours of Tuesday till about 2.00 p.m.
“After much persuasions by the university ‘s internal security personnel and the federal security agencies, they dispersed.
“Only for the news to get to the university authority thereafter that the students had assaulted the motorcade of Mrs Bisi Fayemi and vandalised some vehicles in the motorcade,” it said.
“Sensing that her excellency was under attack, in view of the continued aggression of the students, the security personnel attached to her convoy had to repel the attack and some students were injured in the process.
“In view of the foregoing, the management at an emergency meeting discussed and reviewed the unruly behaviour of the students.
“Such behaviour, which included the destruction of vehicles and burning of a police van, as well as threat to lives, compelled the university management to take these urgent decisions.”
(Edited by Folorunso Poroye/Peter Ejiofor)