By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo
Following the attack on a subsidiary of the Osun State Broadcasting Corporation, Orisun FM in Ile-Ife, the state police command has begun manhunt for the pupils of the public senior secondary schools (SS3) who were involved in the vandalisation.
The search for the pupils started as the state’s Ministry of Education threatened to expel any students found culpable.
Hundreds of rampaging pupils had last Thursday staged a violent protest against the decision of the state government to stop payment of the WAEC fees of some SS3 students.
The irate students who trooped out in Ile Ife to protest the new policy attacked some motorists on sight while they marched to Osirun FM, a radio station owned by the state government located in the town.
On getting to the station, the students pulled down its gate and also demolished some parts of the fence before forcefully gaining entrance to the radio station.
The rampaging students hurled big stones on the station, vandalised about nine vehicles parked in the station’s premises before pouncing on the workers of the radio station beating them black and blue.
The station’s manager, Mr. Adeoye Bakare also had a taste of the students’ havoc as they hurled stones at him in his office inflicting injuries on him and other workers.
The security guard of the radio station was said to have sustained injuries on his head when hit with a stone. Some workers were later rushed to a nearby clinic for treatment.
While the mayhem in Ile-Ife was ongoing, secondary school pupils at Gbogan also flooded the streets in protest against the new policy.
They were said to have blocked the main road and caused traffic snarl in popular parts of the town.
Due to the financial crisis facing the state, it was gathered that the state government decided to scale down the number of students whose fees for the WASSCE would be paid this year.
This was said to have made the government announce that they would not pay the WAEC fees of students who failed to have four credit passes in the mock-examinations.
The protesting pupils were reported to have blamed the prolonged strike resulting from nonpayment of their teachers salaries for their failure.
But the Osun state police has promised to fish out the pelpetrators of the havoc.
It was gathered that the police had recovered a footage of the attack from the radio station’s CCTV camera.
Our correspondent who monitored the OSBC news on Sunday night watched the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education in the state, Mr. Lawrence Oyediran condemning the attack.
According to him, the attack on the radio station by the pupils was barbaric and totally uncalled for saying the state would not condole hooliganism in the education sector.
He said: “We will punish them (students) because if we should leave them, they would corrupt other students with their bad behaviour. So, we will not hesitate to expel anyone found culpable in this shameful act.”
Also, one of the parents of Osun pupils, Mr. Olagoke Ajani told our correspondents that the parents were not aware nor in support of the attack.
He however advised parents to warn their wards against any act that would cut short their academic pursuits.
Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer of the state police command, Mrs Folasade Odoro said six persons have been arrested in connection with the attack noting that others would soon be brought to book.