Ekiti State Government has condemned Tuesday’s attack on the convoy of the first lady of the state, Erelu Bisi Fayemi during a protest by students of Federal University of Oye Ekiti.
The convoy of Fayemi’s wife was attacked by some yet-to-be unidentified students of Federal University of Oye Ekiti while returning from her community engagement and advocacy tour of the state.
The students allegedly barricaded the Oye-Ikole-Abuja highway to prevent the convoy of the wife of the governor from passing with a view to express their displeasure over poor power supply in the town.
They were said to have engaged the security operatives detailed with the governor’s wife in a clash with some vehicles on the convoy, including that of the security operatives were burnt and two pump rifles seized.
Many people on the entourage including civil servants, journalists and policemen sustained varying degrees of injuries.
But Mrs. Fayemi was, however, said to have escaped unhurt by whiskers.
In a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Value Orientation, Hon. Muyiwa Olumilua, the government condemned the attack, noting that the protest might have started peacefully but escalated to violence, possibly due to infiltration by hoodlums.
Olumilua described the ugly incident as unfortunate and condemnable, adding that it is expected that such be done without resulting to violence.
“We acknowledge that the protest might have started as a peaceful one, there was an escalation to violence, possibly due to infiltration by hoodlums”
“While not denying the students the right to express their grievances on any issue, it is expected that such be done without resulting to violence.
“Ekiti State Government has been informed that there might have been casualties recorded during the incident but those injured during the attack have been given first aid treatment, while some are still receiving treatment in the hospital.
“We await more details of this sad development from the school authorities. Nothing is worth the loss of any life”, he said.
He, however, called on the general public to go about their normal activities as the situation is now under control.
Meanwhile, the Ekiti chapter of the Yoruba Socio-political and cultural organisation described the incident as sad, ugly and unwarranted.
The group in a statement signed by its chairman, Elder Yemi Alade, Secretary, Chief Mrs Ronke Okusanya, Publicity Secretary, Chief Biodun Akin-Fasae, said it was disheartening for those regarded leaders of tomorrow to engage in irrational behavior to express their grievances.
The group called on authorities of the University to do the needful before the institution is reopened and bring those involved to judgement to serve as deterrents against future occurrence.
The Speaker, Ekiti House of Assembly, Hon. Funminiyi Afuye called on the Nigeria Police Force to investigate the tragic scenario in earnest and ensure those behind the attack face the wrath of law.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Akogun Tai Oguntayo, Afuye, added that the House is going to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the attack soto forestall a future occurrence.
The Speaker recognised the right of the students to peaceful protest but condemned their confrontational approach to express displeasure, urging them to always channel their grievances through appropriate quarters.
Afuye urged the students to avoid being used by self-seeking individuals, warning trouble makers to stay away from the state, stressing that any act of brigandage will not be condoned.