It was free-for-all at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife as students protested during a student election campaign, The Punch gathered on Monday.
The students, who engaged in the chaotic situation not only threw chairs at one another, they also allegedly molested journalists, including the President, Association of Campus Journalists, OAU branch, Mr. Aderemi Alex.
The protesters also abducted and manhandled the OAU Electoral Commission Chairman, Alabi Abeeb.
They were protesting the disqualification of some of the aspirants to the various positions in the student union body.
Active student politics returned to the university last month after over three years of proscription.
“If the authorities like, let them take their union back. We do not want a kangaroo union. The indicted students must contest in the poll. They can’t proscribe us again because without us they can’t have access to the intervention fund that ASUU fought for,” the protesting students chorused.
But after receiving treatment at the university’s health centre, Abeeb urged the students not to jeopardise what he called the restoration process of the union.
“The school has said the indicted students must not contest. If we don’t agree with that it is likely that we will lose our union,” he said.
Meanwhile, the authorities have condemned the students’ action, saying those found culpable would not go scot-free.
The OAU Registrar, Mr. Dotun Awoyemi, stated this in a statement on Monday.
Awoyemi assured students of safety, adding that the authorities wanted democratic and responsible student leaders.
He said, “The university administration has observed with concern the development in the Student Union Electoral process in the last 48 hours. Specifically, administration received a report that a group of students invaded the amphitheatre to disrupt the press ‘confrontation’ and caused pandemonium. In the process, some lawless students abducted, manhandled and subjected the Chairman of Electoral Commission to all manner of inhuman treatment at the Awolowo Hall. Also, was the President of ACJ was hit by a chair on his head.
“The university administration condemns this barbaric, uncivilised and criminal act in its entirety. Consequently, the administration wishes to seize this opportunity to assure every law-abiding student that appropriate actions would be taken against all the identified perpetrators of this dastardly act.”
In a related development, students of the Federal Polytechnic Ede, Osun State and some hoodlums clashed on Saturday following the death of a student.
A speeding truck hit the deceased, a Higher National Diploma student.
The Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Students, Joint Campus Committee, Osun State, Awowole Samuel, condemned the action of the hoodlums.
He said, “Our heart is full of sorrow and tears. We express our dissatisfaction on the crisis at the Federal Polytechnic, Ede. The unwanted crisis came after an accident that claimed the life of an HND student.” (Punch)
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