Several police officers and students were on Monday injured as the police sought to forcefully disperse a protest by the students.
The students who were of the Federal College of Agriculture, Moore Plantation, Ibadan, were said to be protesting against the management of the institution. In the early hours of the day, they marched to the Ibadan – Abeokuta expressway, thereby inhibiting the flow of traffic.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the provost of the college, Babajide Adenikan, called in the police when the protests went out of control and headed away from the campus towards the town.
Footage on twitter apparently captured by one of the students showed police officers chasing the students back into the school premises using teargas and stones. The students were also seen hauling stones and other projectiles at the police officers.
Sporadic gunshots were also heard and two female students were seen being taken away to a hospital after they were supposedly injured by the attacking police officers.
In his reaction, the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Odude, said four police officers were injured in the mayhem and had been hospitalised.
He said that eight police vans were also damaged by the students during the clash. He confirmed that five students had been arrested in connection with the attacks.
The police commissioner said the crisis which erupted on Monday had been brewing for a long time and the police had made efforts to use dialogue to resolve it.
“It has been an off and on situation,” said Mr. Odude. “We have been on this for the past six months, meeting them and trying to resolve the issue. We have met the students’ union leaders and the school authority.”
According to him, the students had been warned earlier to limit their union activities within the school campus, as interfering with other peoples rights to use public utilities was unlawful.
“Today they blocked the main road during protest and we sent policemen there, but they became violent and attacked the policemen,” he said.
“Four of them were injured and they are now in hospital. Eight police vans were also destroyed.
“We have to use force to push them back into the school. Being students does not confer the liberty to break laws.
“Those who were arrested will be charged to court after due investigation.”