Police Shoot At Protesting LAUTECH Students, Injure Three

Mobile policemen shot at the students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, on Friday, injuring three of them.

Three other students were arrested.

Our correspondent learned that the students were shot at while they were protesting on the Ogbomoso-Ilorin Expressway over the prolonged closure of the school.

The university has been shut down since June 2016 over ownership and funding crises caused by the two owner states, Oyo and Osun States.

Since then, the Students’ Union Government of the school had paid several visits to the Ooni of Ife, the Olubadan of Ibadan, the Alafin of Oyo and other traditional rulers in the two states to help them appeal to the state governments.

Meanwhile, to solve the problem of funding, there have been rumours that the owner states were planning to increase the tuition from N65,000 for students who are indigenes of Osun and Oyo states and N75,000 for non-indigenes to N350,000 respectively.

As a result of this development, about 100 students took to the streets on Friday to protest against the six-month closure of the school and the rumoured increase in tuition fees.

While the protest was going on, our correspondent gathered that several policemen fired teargas at some of the students, while shooting rubber bullets at others.

One of the injured students, Fawole Israel, said he was shot at three times by the police while he was on a motorcycle.

He said, “The protest was meant to be peaceful, but the police came and caused chaos. I was shot at three times. I fell down from a motorcycle. While I fell down, a policeman used the butt of his gun to hit me on the head. My head bled.

“We have been doing nothing for the past six months and this is not helping us. We are about to lose a full academic session. That was why we had to protest.”

A member of the school’s SUG who was also among those protesting, Abdulfatah Oloyede, said the police injured three students and arrested three others.

“Right now, we don’t know the whereabouts of those arrested. The injured ones have been taken to the hospital for treatment. The protest was meant to be peaceful, but the mobile police came and caused chaos. They started shooting at students. This is terrible,” he said.

Another student, Okedara Ridwan, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to come to the aid of the students.

Repeated calls to the spokesperson for the Oyo State Police Command, DSP Ajisebutu Adekunle, for reaction were not answered as of the time of filing this report.

A text message sent to him was also not responded to.