Oluwaseyi Kehinde, a 100 level student of Federal University, Oye Ekiti, has been shot dead by operatives of the Nigeria Police Force, witnesses have told online newspaper Premium Times..
Several other students were also reportedly injured while students were protesting poor electricity supply in Oye and Ikole Ekiti on Tuesday, September 10, 2019.
Bisi Fayemi, the wife of the Ekiti State Governor, was also reportedly attacked during the protests.
Many students of the institution who witnessed the protest told journalists that the response from the police officers attached to Mrs Fayemi’s convoy turned the protest bloody.
It was gathered that the protesting students blocked Mrs Fayemi convoy while she was returning from a tour of the 16 local government areas of the state, on an empowerment programme.
“While trying to engage the governor’s wife, a police officer attached to the convoy came down and slapped the Student Union President,” one witness said.
“Students retaliated against the police officer. And that was how everything turned brouhaha.”
“The police noticed protesters’ resistance and they started shooting sporadically. A 100 level student has been confirmed dead while three others are presently admitted in the hospital. Some others also sustained injuries,” another student said asking not to be named for fear of victimisation.
Many other students of the institution, who witnessed the protest, narrated a similar situation.
“If the police had not attacked the union president, the protest would not have turned violent,” another student said. “It is not true that the students attacked Mrs Fayemi.”
Raji Subur, the students union leader of the university confirmed the death of the student to PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview.
“We lost one of our students to police gunshots. Others are in the hospital,” he said.
When contacted, the spokesperson of the school, Godfrey Bakri, told PREMIUM TIMES that he is not in the school environment and cannot confirm the death.
The police in a statement made available to journalists on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, denied that its officers shot at the protesting students.
Caleb Ikechuckwu, the spokesperson, said the protesting students took to the federal highway, away from the perimeter wall of the university and blocked the Oye-Ikole-Lokoja federal roads. He said their action caused a breach of peace and gridlock to motorists plying that route.
“The protesting students also invaded the office of Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC, in Oye Ekiti. It took the quick intervention of policemen deployed to the scene to prevent further damage of the office complex.”
“The police officers at the scene pacified with the protesting student, removed the blockade and dispersed the protesting student peacefully.
“However, the protesting student turned around in their numbers and took their plight to Her Excellence, Erule Bisi Fayemi, The Wife of the Executive Governor of Ekiti State who was at an empowerment programme.
“The protesting students suddenly became unruly, hostile and took laws into their hands, also vandalized the motorcade of her excellency.
“The protesting students did not stop at that. They also assaulted the policemen who where at the scene to maintain law and order and damaged police vehicle found at the scene.
“Investigation is ongoing to bring the perpetrator to book. Further statement will be issued in due course,” the police spokesperson said.
In a separate interview with journalists, Mr Ikechukwu claimed no student killed.
“Nobody was killed. There was no loss of life,” he said.
Reason for protest
Speaking on the reason for the protest, a student leader said the electricity situation in the school had gotten worse and put students life at risk.
“Students are being molested in the night, we are attacked at night, and we are regularly robbed at night because we don’t have light,” the unionist said.
“Everywhere in FUOYE is dark. Students keep charging at petrol filling stations. This is risky.
“We don’t want mass death in FUOYE. What we want is stable power supply.”
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Graphic: 2 #FUOYE students killed, one policeman lynched during protest . . Two students of the Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State (FUOYE), have been feared shot dead by the police during a peaceful protest over poor power supply in the community. . . In return, the irate student allegedly beat a policeman to death and set the office of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company and a police van ablaze. . . Today’s protest is coming after a similar action four months ago. The visibly-angry students carried placards with inscriptions such as “Say No to NEPAPHOBIA”; “We need light” chanting “we need light” in songs. . . One of the protesters, Okedare Gbenga, a 300-level student of Geology department lamented how students pay for light but they don’t enjoy it. . . Another protester, Adekola Ayomide Franchis, a 300-level student of Accounting department and President of the Faculty of Management Sciences, lamented the poor power supply. . . Former Vice-Chairman National Association of Nigerian Students, Ekiti State, Comrade Taiwo while addressing the students declared the protest opened, threatening it will be sustained until government addressed the situation. . . Speaking at the school gate while addressing the students, The President of the Students Union Government, Oluwaseun Awodola, lamented poor power supply that has led to the insecurity of the students
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