Unconfirmed reports have it that four students of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State might have lost their lives, Monday, as hundreds of them went on the rampage, protesting against the barring of unregistered students from participating in the harmattan examination, which should have started Monday.
The students used two of the student union government buses to barricade the road leading to the entrance of the institution, preventing staff and other students from gaining entry into the main campus.
Police deny killing 4 students
The Police in the state, however, denied the alleged killing of four students in the protest, saying, only 10 were arrested.
The Assistant Police Commissioner in charge of Operations, Mr. Mohammad Abdulkadri, confirmed that 10 suspected rioters had been arrested and two buses seized from them with no casualty.
Vanguard gathered that the students rejected the appeal by Abdulkadri and Ijebu Area Commander, Usman Alabi, to shelve the planned action and allow movement in and outside the main campus.
The situation caused a stampede at the main gate as police fired tear gas to disperse the protesting students.
It would be recalled that the school authority, Sunday, through a statement from the state government, directed all bonafide students of the institution’s to regularize their studentship with immediate effect.
Speaking with newsmen, the institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Saburi Adesanya, said the regularization was in line with the Federal Government’s directive through the National Universities Commission, NUC, requesting all universities to provide a comprehensive students‘ audit within the next six weeks.
Adesanya added that the only way to achieve this was to compile the list of bonafide students who had been dully registered through payment of school fees.
He said: “The protesting students were those who failed to meet the deadline of Friday, May 17 to comply with the instruction before the commencement of 500 level Law students.
“The deadline has before now shifted for more than three times to allow them complete their registration which some of them refuse to do.”
…SUG leader too
Reacting on behalf of the Students Union Government, Vice President of the Union OOU, Ajayi Oyindamola, said they had been on the struggle with the institution for extension of the deadline for the past three months.
She explained that the students acknowledged the step of the institution over the regularization issue, but added that the closure of the school portal for payment and generation of receipt made things difficult for them.
Oyindamola further claimed that the SUG had pleaded on behalf of the affected students who have not paid their school fees for 2010/2011, 2011/2012,and 2012/2013 academic sessions for more extension due to the present economic situation of the country which did not go well with the school management.
She confirmed that some of the students hade spent four, five, six years and more in the institution as a result of their inability to pay the outrageous school fees.
She said: “It’s not right for students not to register for a particular session but most of them fend for the school fees themselves and even Ogun State government makes things difficult by not paying us bursary allowance.”
The SUG leader, however, said teargas canisters were fired by the police to disperse the protesters, adding that death or injury of any of them could not be ascertained as the police did not fire gun shots at any student.
The students who were sent away from the scene of the protest returned to the Ago-Iwoye township to regroup and made bone fires along the streets, disrupting vehicular movements of other law-abiding residents of the community.