- NUJ condemns attack on members
Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Following the attack on the convoy of the First Lady of Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, by protesting students of Federal University, Oye –Ekiti (FUOYE) on Tuesday, the university authorities had closed down the school indefinitely.
The university, in a statement by its Vice Chancellor, Prof. Kayode Soremekun, yesterday, said the management has also proscribed the Students’ Union Government (SUG) in the institution henceforth.
Students of the university had on Tuesday held a violent protest to demand for the restoration of electricity to the two campuses in Oye and Ikole, where cars on the convoy of the First lady, who was on a local government tour, were destroyed and many sustained bodily injuries in the process.
He said: “We hereby announce the immediate and indefinite closure of the university to forestall further breakdown of law and order.
“In the same vein, the students’ union of the institution is disbanded indefinitely.
“Following this closure, the students are hereby ordered to vacate the university premises no later than 10am of September 11, 2019.
“Further developments will be communicated in due course,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the Ekiti State Government, in a statement by its Commissioner for Information, Mr. Muyiwa Olumilua, has confirmed the attack on Fayemi’s wife.
Olumilua, who acknowledged that the protest might have started as a peaceful one, hinted that it escalated to violence, possibly due to infiltration by hoodlums.
“The convoy of the Wife of the Governor was attacked with several vehicles vandalised, leaving many people, including journalists, with varying degrees of injuries.
“While not denying the students the right to express their grievances on any issue, it is expected that such be done without resulting to violence.
“As a responsible government, it is on record that the state government has been engaging the electricity company (BEDC) on how to improve the power situation in parts of the state, long before this unfortunate incident, and we promise to continue to engage them on the improvement of their service delivery to Ekiti State.
“The general public is hereby advised to go about their normal activities as the situation is now under control,” he said.
However, some journalists: Folorunso Adebiyi of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria; Olasunkami Ogunmuko of CORE TV; Raphael Ogbonnaiye of Daily Trust; Ayodele Afolabi of The Guardian; Adedayo Oladele of New Nigerian; and other journalists on the First Lady’s entourage narrowly escaped being killed during the attacks, while some sustained varying degrees of injuries.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ekiti State chapter, Rotimi Ojomoyela, has condemned the calculated attacks on his members, urging security agencies to fish out the perpetrators.
Recounting how the incident happened, Ogunmuko said Mrs. Fayemi was already conducting the empowerment programme at the Civic Centre in Oye Ekiti when the incident occurred.
Ogunmuko said the students came in their hundreds from both Oye and Ikole campuses and started destroying vehicles with sticks and other dangerous weapons. They destroyed over 10 cars in the convoy and wounded journalists and other participants.
“It was the security details around the First Lady that alerted the entourage about the happening. They were the ones who summoned courage to remove all the bonfires and mounted road blockades before the First Lady was frisked out of the beleaguered scene.
“Most of the journalists were wounded with the aid of sticks, bottles and sticks thrown by the protesting students,” he said.