Oluwaseun Awodola, the student union president of Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State, has narrated how police officers killed two students among those protesting poor electricity supply in the town at an event attended by the wife of the governor of Ekiti State, Bisi Fayemi, on Tuesday.
The protest had turned violent after police officers assigned to Mrs Fayemi shot into the crowd of protesting students.
The students who were killed are Oluwaseyi Kehinde, a 100 level student of Crop Science and Horticulture, and Joseph Okonofua, a 300 level students of Biology Education. Other students who were injured in the fracas are still receiving treatment at the hospital.
Mr Awodola, who was responding to a Twitter statement by Mrs Fayemi on the incident, demanded justice for the slain and injured students.
The governor’s wife alleged that the protesting students, who were probably infiltrated by local thugs, had tried to prevent her from attending the event in the town but were stopped by the police.
She claimed that the protesting students vandalised the vehicles of guests parked outside while the event was going on in a hall. She also claimed that the casualties recorded during the protest happened after she had left the town.
However, responding to the statement of the governor’s wife, Mr Awodola said the protest was initially peaceful but turned violent after he was slapped by a police officer while trying to secure the release of students who had earlier been arrested during the protest.
He claimed he was at a meeting with the chief security officer to the governor of the state, a soldier, and the divisional police officer of Oye Ekiti when he was slapped by a police officer with the Counter-Terrorism Unit.
According to him, it was at that stage that the protest turned violent.
“I wasn’t sure what was happening any longer as I saw stones flying from different corners and stray bullets and CTU Officers advancing towards the road and entered the street,” the student leader said.
“I had to run for safety as I couldn’t move well and I couldn’t move well and fast. Although, where I was heading wasn’t so far, in a few minutes I was indoor as I narrowly escaped different stray bullets by armed police and CTU officers.
My Awodola said from his hideout at the hostel, they could see police, MOPOLS, and CTU officers entering streets and shops chasing the students and shooting live bullets.
“I could figure out the reason why everything escalated was due to the reason why the riot started between the students, indigenes, and Armed Forces was due to the first shooting by the police officer and CTU Officer.
“It wasn’t long we heard the shouting of students from nearby, listening closely we could hear them shouting a student [has] been killed, someone who was in the hostel where I was at that moment came online on WhatsApp and the pictures and videos of the student was on the media. It wasn’t long.
“I was in pain as my muscles keep contracting but I managed to come out to take a glimpse, but all we could see were policemen running and aiming at students, indigenes who were also fighting back at the police forces”
However, “several updates started flowing on social media, as reports with videos and pics started revealing students been injured, police officer who went to vandalize the Student union vehicle, police officer been beaten, another student died, vehicles been burnt and so on.”
He also alleged that students who were injured in the violence are not being treated.
“Information also got to us that the injured students who are currently undergoing treatment are not been attended to because of funds. As there was no fund again.
“Students have been contributing to saving lives but It was afterwards the students heard a student had been killed and they came out in masses. It was this same information I’m sure Joseph Icon heard and came just to receive a stray bullet. Justice must prevail.”