From Timothy Agbor/Ile-Ife
A security detail of a presidential convoy on Thursday, 22nd May, 2014 shot at students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife Osun State while protesting the hike in their tuition fees by the management.
The management had increased the tuition of the students from N17, 000 to over N100,000 thus culminating into series of protests where the placard carrying students barricaded Ilesa-Ife express road to express their displeasure.
About four students according to the President elect of the student union, Mr. Isaac Ibikunle, sustained injuries owing to the shootings by the security agent later identified as a soldier.
Ibikunle said that the injured students were taken to the institution’s health centre on campus for treatment.
The protesting students were said to have attempted to lynch the soldier but for the timely intervention of commuters and other stranded road users plying the way. The vehicle boarding the unidentified personality in was said to have been confisicated by the students but was later released.
It was learnt that the convoy led by a Toyota bullet proof SUV bearing ‘Presidency’ inscription with registration number, FG902-B02 had attempted to manuever its way through the protesting students that barricaded the roads linking Ife.
The security details attached to the six-vehicle convoy was said to have resulted to shooting rubber bullets at the students apparently to scare them from making a way for the car.
Undeterred by the development, the irate students took their demonstration to the palace of Ooni of Ife to remind him of his promise to persuade the Professor Bamitale Omole led management to reverse the hiked tuition.
On their way to the palace, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the August 9 election, Senator Iyiola Omisore accosted the students and attended to them.
Addressing the students, Senator Omisore promise to mediate in the face-off saying that he was certain the management would do something to address the yearnings of the students.
However, Omisore and the President elect of the Students’ Union, Mr. Isaac Ibikunle then thousands of protesters to the palace of Oba Okunade Sijuade but they were told the latter was having a meeting with the institution’s management in a bid to resolving the imbroglo.
The Thursday protest would be the third of its kind since the management introduced the new fee regime. But the leadership of the students’ union had maintained that it would continue protesting until the management rescind its decision.
Ibikunle noted that the students would be waiting to hear from the duo of Ooni of Ife and Senator Omisore on the outcome of their meetings with the management before taking to the streets of Ife to continue their protest.