Bloody protest at Akungba Varsity

By Emmanuel Ajibulu
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One would have assumed that the era of police-student face-off in Nigeria has gone, but the ugly event of yesterday actually proved this wrong, when two people were allegedly shot dead and two Policemen injured, as students of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State engaged men of Nigeria police in a bloody clash.

The unfortunate and regrettable incident actually turned the town upside down. It was gathered that after the death of the Okada operator, the people of the town and the students mobilized and marched to the police station near Iwaro junction and set it ablaze following which the police bullet hit one of other protesters, killing him instantly.

Following this ungodly developments which precipitated breach of peace in the area, the State government has given a directive for the sack of the institution's Vice Chancellor, Professor Philips Abiodun, and shut down the school indefinitely.

Prof Oladele Awobuluyi (a Professor of Linguistics) has however been appointed as the new Vice Chancellor, in an acting capacity. This appointment according to Ondo State government is with immediate effect.

Moreover, the Ondo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Charles Dawodu, has informed that about 30 students have been arrested by his men, saying they would be tried, and if found guilty they would be made to face the wrath of the law. He however refuted the claim that two of his men were killed in the unrest, but agreed that two of them were badly injured.

The angry students took to the streets at the early hour of yesterday, barricaded the highway protesting the continued stay of Prof Philips as the Vice Chancellor and their lecturers' refusal to resume for work following their strike which has been on for about a month.

Unconfirmed reports also have it that protest against some issues in the University which had affected the students from sitting for their first semester's examination started on Monday and it later degenerated into a bloody clash with the policemen yesterday where lost of human lives were recorded.

The riot was said to have broken out when the school authority directed the students to resume for academic studies from a forced break to write their suspended examinations only to discover that the authorities and the lecturers were yet to settle their differences.

The local branch of ASUU said it would not supervise the examination because of some outstanding allowances.

This disheartening incident propelled the students to take to streets blaming the University authorities for wasting their time and risking their lives having travelled from different destinations around the country in Nigeria.

The state government in its responsive gesture while shutting the university said that security agents have been directed to ensure the safety of lives and properties and see to it that peace reigns supreme within the Akungba Akoko Community.

Government also appealed to the people of the University community to distance themselves from violence and ensure that peace returns to the area while government looks into the matter and stop a recurrence of the unfortunate incident.

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