“He (the shooter) had Ajifesin Idris on his uniform and the number on his uniform is 448318.”
After holding a convoy of presidency vehicles hostage for over two hours, students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, released them following the intervention of the Ooni of Ife, Okunade Sijuade.
The students held the 6-vehicle convoy and its occupants’ hostage after a police officer on the convoy shot at the protesting students.
The convoy led by a Toyota bullet proof SUV with ‘Presidency’ inscription and registration number, FG902-B02, tried to drive through the students who were protesting an increase in fees by the university management.
“The security details shot at us. We have held them hostage. We will not let him go.” one of the protesting students had told PREMIUM TIMES on phone during the protest.
The protesting students said they later identified the officer that fired the shots that injured three students.
“He had Ajifesin Idris on his uniform and the number on his uniform is 448318,” Israel, one of protest leaders, later told PREMIUM TIMES.
The shot students, who sustained only minor injuries, were promptly rushed to the university health centre. One of the shot students was identified as Ayo, a student of the Faculty of Law.
The protesting students had insisted that they would not let their hostages go and had damaged some of the vehicles.
“We made sure we destroyed the windscreen of the cars and we were not ready to release them, but we got a call from the Ooni of Ife asking to us to remain calm and asked us to release the cars.
“After much negotiation with him, we decided to leave the cars at the spot where they were hijacked,” Israel said.
The protesting students said the leader of the convoy only told them he was a human rights activist from the Niger Delta, but did not disclose his name.
After leaving the presidency convoy and its occupants, the hundreds of students marched to the palace of the Ooni.
They met another convoy on their way, that of Iyiola Omisore, a former senator and gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun.
The students formed a blockade around Mr. Omisore’s convoy and insisted they would not let him go.
The former senator, however, alighted and addressed the students, promising to intervene to ensure that the increased school fees was returned to statusquo.
“Omisore promised us that he would liaise with the vice chancellor and would ensure that within 24 hours the school fees is reversed,” one of the protesting students said.
The students then marched to the palace of the Ooni, who assured them that he had summoned the Vice Chancellor and would discuss with him on the school crisis.
The university management had increased the fees by about 500 per cent from about N17,000 for highest paying students to over N100,000 for highest paying students.
The students insist they want a return to stausquo.
The newly elected leaders of the OAU Students’ Union are expected to be sworn-in on Friday even as the students have vowed to continue their protest until the fees are reversed.
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