Pandemonium broke out on Monday, during a clash between the police and students of the Federal College of Agriculture, Moor Plantation, Apata, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, leaving four policemen injured and eight police vans damaged.
Confirming the incident, the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Odude, said the policemen were admitted to a hospital.
Naija News gathered that the students were protesting against the school management, calling for the removal of the school’s provost, Dr Babajide Adenekan, following a disagreement between Adenekan and members of the school’s Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic, Non -Academic Staff Union and the Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions.
In the course of the protest, the students blocked the road linking Oyo and Ogun states around 6:30am, thereby, forcing commuters to take alternative routes.
Punch reports that the rector invited the police when the students who were protesting against the school management blocked the main road.
A lecturer in the school, anonymously, disclosed that the issue had been on for more than one year.
She said, “There have been clashes between the provost and lecturers of the school. Some lecturers were suspended, while some claimed their allowances were withheld by the provost illegally.
“But this time, the students were expressing their grievances over the administrative style of the provost. They said the style of the provost triggered several strikes and unnecessary delay in the school’s academic calendar. They also called for the removal of the provost.”
The students, however, claimed that the police shot at them during the protest with some of them sustaining gunshot injuries, adding that a lecturer was also injured in the clash.
Odude said the police had arrested five students in connection with the clash, adding that there had been several meetings between the school authorities, the students and the police on how to resolve the crises in the school.
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“It has been an off and on situation. We have been on this for the past six months, meeting them and trying to resolve the issues. We have met the students’ union leaders and the school authorities.
“We told the students that they should limit their activities within the school because once you deprive others the use of a public facility, you are against the law. Today (Monday), they blocked the main road during their protest and we sent some policemen there. But they became violent and attacked the policemen.
“Four policemen were injured and they are now in the hospital. Eight police vans were damaged too. We had to use force to push them back into the school. That you are a student does not give you the liberty to break laws. Those who were arrested will be charged to court at the end of investigations,” he said.