The management of the Osun State University, UNIOSUN, has called on the Federal Government and the Nigerian Air Force authorities to fish out the Air Force personnel who brutalised students and lecturers on Tuesday at its Ipetu-Ijesa campus.
An official statement from the office of the Registrar, Gaffar Adebayo Shittu, on Thursday stated that a public Commission of Inquiry should be constituted to look into both the immediate and remote causes of the invasion.
“The rampaging men of the Nigerian Air Force must be publicly prosecuted for both human rights violation and invasion of the university,” the statement said.
“The Air Force as a military organization should reign-in the activities of its men by guaranteeing the safety of staff and students of the University.”
The statement asserted that after a critical assessment of the situation, it had been concluded that except a drastic action was taken following this recent attack, there will be another incident which might lead to loss of lives and property.
It also noted that the incident was not the first, but was only a culmination of the previous incessant and lesser violations and brutality against students of the institution by security agents.
“We wish to appeal to the Nigerian Air Force, and indeed, the Federal Authorities not to allow the perpetrators to go unpunished,” the statement further said.
“The Nigerian Air Force has no justification under any guise to invade the university campus. The extant laws of Nigeria are very explicit on this.
“Until justice is done, once and for all, the continuing operations of our College of Education at Ipetu-Ijesa may not be guaranteed as the authorities of UNIOSUN will not, under any guise, put the life of any staff or student at risk.
“Nigerians, particularly, the Human Rights community and concerned authorities should note that the recent incident is another, though most organized and deadly attack in the serial oppression of our staff and students by security agencies on our campuses.
“The one by the Police in in Osogbo in January, 2017 is still fresh in our memories.”
UNIOSUN, while recalling the ordeal of Tuesday, noted that the men of the Nigerian Air Force Safety Institute, Ipetu- Ijesa invaded and violated the sanctity of the academic environment of the College of Education, Ipetu-Ijesa Campus of our University.
“The invading airmen numbering over 100, who were dressed in military fatigue, forced their way into the campus in three armoured vehicles after beating-up the university security personnel stationed at the University gate,” read the statement.
“The Air Force men who were fully dressed for war carried automatic rifles and cutlasses, invaded our campus at about 12.30 p.m.
“The Flight Lieutenant who led the invasion gave instructions to his men to ‘delete, exterminate and wipe-out every living souls seen on the campus’ as the airmen went after both staff and students and chased them into the surrounding bushes.
“The invasion caught the students who were receiving lectures unawares. At the end of the invasion many staff and students of the university were badly brutalized with different forms of injuries ranging from machete cuts, bruises, as well as gun butting on their bodies.
“A number of the innocent young students also fainted while running into bushes. Resuscitating the students took the extra efforts of the University Health Services staff.
“The horrendous situation left the official work on the campus totally paralyzed as our staff had to scamper for safety while the students ran to seek refuge in the nearby bushes.”
The school is currently a one-week break beginning from Tuesday to allow peace to fully return to the campus.
Meanwhile the Nigerian Air Force, NAF, on Wednesday expressed regrets over the incident, saying it would bring to book any officer found culpable in the incident.
A statement by NAF’s Director of Public Relations and Information, Olatokunbo Adesanya, said the reported incident was not a reflection of what NAF stands for.
“The attention of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has been drawn to reports of some of its personnel being involved in a fracas on the campus of the University of Osun State at Ipetu Ijesha,” the statement read.
“While the NAF highly regrets the entire incidence, it is noteworthy that the reported incidence is not a reflection of what the NAF stands for.
“The NAF is a highly professional force that does not condone or encourage the violation of anyone’s human rights.
“The general public is invited to kindly note that the NAF has already commenced formal investigations into the reported unfortunate incidence.
“At the end of the investigations, Nigerians are assured that any NAF personnel found culpable will be dealt with in accordance with the appropriate laws.”
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