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By: Oluwatosin Adesola
Wife of Ekiti Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, on Wednesday denied she instructed security details attached to her to shoot protesting students of the Federal University Oye Ekiti, (FUOYE) on Tuesday.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) had alleged Mrs. Fayemi ordered policemen to shoot the students, leading to the death of at least one of them.
But she countered she issued no such order, stating she didn’t come across protesting students while she was in Oye-Ekiti for an empowerment programme.
She claimed she couldn’t have objected to civil protest being a human rights crusader and mother.
According to her, she had attended to a group protesting female sweepers in Ado-Ekiti on the same day to reinforce her belief in civil protest.
In a statement she personally signed on Wednesday, Mrs. Fayemi alleged the students, probably infiltrated by local hoodlums, vandalised her convoy as well as vehicles of her guests during the empowerment programme.
According to her: “ Yesterday, September 10th 2019, there was a crisis at Oye town in Oye Local Government, Ekiti State while I was on an empowerment and advocacy tour to engage with women across the State. The tour commenced on Monday September 9th, with visits to two local governments which were hugely successful and peaceful.
“On September 10th, we were billed to visit three local governments – Moba, Ilejemeje and Oye. The first two stops were just like the ones before – peaceful with no incident.
“While we were at Ilejemeje, we received a call from our advance security team that students of the Federal University of Oye (FUOYE) were protesting a lack of electricity in Oye town. We were told that more information would be provided on the situation. Shortly after we received word that the students had dispersed and the coast was clear for my visit.
“When my convoy got to the Oye-Isan junction, we were met by a convoy of excited Okada riders who led us into Oye town. We made a stop at the primary healthcare center along the road for me to present delivery kits to pregnant women.
“There was no sign of any trouble. We proceeded to the venue of my town hall meeting at the civic center with women in Oye Local Government.
“The atmosphere was very peaceful, the women were singing and dancing and there was nothing to indicate that anything was amiss. I stopped at the tent erected for the mobile health clinic in front of the civic center to greet the elderly patients who were being attended to, and I also went to greet the beneficiaries of the Food Bank for the elderly project (Ounje Arugbo), who were assembled under another tent. I then proceeded into the hall for the program.
“Half-way through our event, there was a disturbance outside. The FUOYE students (and possibly infiltrated by local thugs) had re-grouped and were trying to get into the venue.
“The security officers prevented this from happening. We finished our program, and by the time we got outside, we found that vehicles from my convoy and those of my guests that were parked outside the venue had been vandalised.
“As we were driving out of Oye town, we encountered at least two road blocks that the students had mounted to prevent the movement of vehicles. I could see students/thugs throwing stones and large sticks at us as we drove by.
“However, the casualties that were recorded did not take place while I was there. There are eye-witnesses, photographs and video footage to confirm this.”
She added: “There are reports circulating that the crisis occurred because I refused to address the protesting students. This is totally false.
“I did not encounter any group of students when I got to Oye town. They had dispersed before my arrival, and when they regrouped I was inside the venue.
“It is possible, as I stated earlier, that the group that came to the venue trying to gain access with sticks and stones in hand might have included local hoodlums, but there was no way of telling the difference.
“I am scandalized and shocked beyond words to hear that I instructed security officers to shoot at students.
“Yesterday morning, as I was driving past my office in Ado-Ekiti, a group of women were gathered there to protest.
“They are members of a Female Sweepers Association, who were protesting a cut in their monthly salary by the previous administration. They wanted me to help them.
“They were very polite and pleasant. I listened to them and promised to pass on their message to the appropriate authorities.
“These two protests happened on the same day. If I had met a group of protesting students, as a social justice activist myself, I would have listened to their complaints and addressed them. I firmly believe in citizens’ rights to protest on issues of concern.
“I am deeply saddened that at least one fatality has been recorded. As a mother my heart bleeds.
“All these students are my children, and no mother prays to weep over their offspring.
“I extend my sincere condolences to the family concerned, and I wish those who are still receiving treatment a speedy recovery.
“The Obirinkete Tour has been suspended pending a review of what transpired yesterday. I thank friends and all members of the public who have expressed concern over this. God bless you all.”
NANS BLAMES FAYEMI’S WIFE KILLING OF FUOYE STUDENTS
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on Wednesday condemned the alleged killing of two students of Federal University Oye Ekiti and injuring of others by security details attached to Chief (Mrs.) Bisi Fayemi, wife of Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi.
The students – Dada Kehinde Abiodun, a part one student at the Department of Crop Science and Horticulture and another were allegedly shot dead during protest on Tuesday by security personnel in the convoy of Mrs. Fayemi.
In a statement in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, by Azeez Adeyemi, the National Public Relations Officer, NANS Azeez wondered what the Governor’s wife expected the students to do other than protest against a Governor that could not address the electricity challenges in Oye Ekiti, a bustling town in Ekiti State.
The NANS image maker stated that troubled started when the protesting students sighted the wife of the Governor and wanted to explain their reason for the protest to her but one of her security personnel slapped the Students Union President in the process.
Azeez added this sparked the anger of the students who then pelted Bisi Fayemi’s convoy with sachet waters, an action, he claimed further, impelled the Governor’s wife to allegedly order her security aides to be ruthless with the students.
He stated: “A student, Dada Kehinde Abiodun, a Part 1 student of the Department of Crop Science and Horticulture was killed while some others were severely injured and are receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre.
READ ALSO: Fayemi’s wife escapes death, as FUOYE students allegedly attack convoy
“One of the students placed under intensive care has also gave up the ghost during the early hours of today.
“Meanwhile, so as to distort the truth before it gets to the public domain, the government quickly rushed to the press and fed them with lies all because they are in possession of the financial capacity to do and undo.
“It is however important to note that although we do not have the financial muzzle to contend with you in the media but we shall explore every lawful means to communicate the anti – students attitude of Mrs. Fayemi to the world.
“To this end, we have however declared the wife of Governor Fayemi a persona non grata anywhere 50meters of any university campus, as we request her to always keep 50 meters away from all our campuses in the country as she constitutes threat to the lives of our students.
“We are not ignorant of the move of the government to kidnap our comrades when sighted anywhere in the state.
“As a result of this unholy plot by the Ekiti state government, we would protest her wicked act in at least one state from each of the geo -political zones of the country, with effect from Monday 16, September, 2019.
“We however appealed to mothers and other international communities to join force with us to condemn this inhuman act.”