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Adekunle Ajasin University Students And Indigenes In Violent Clash Over Death Of Student Killed By Motorcyclist

April 10, 2016

Students of the Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko (AAUA) in Ondo State, on Saturday, staged a violent protest over the killing of their colleague, Afolabi Daniel Ojo, by a  hit-and-run commercial motorcyclist. 

Ojo, a second year  Economics ( Education) student of the institution,  was hit on Friday by the reckless rider, who is thought to be an indigene of the community.

Students told SaharaReporters that the deceased was returning home from school after writing a  paper in the first semester examination, which began last  Monday. 

Our correspondent learnt that the sad incident occurred few metres away from the school gate at the popular trading centre known as Ibaka market. 

The aggrieved students marched out of the campus in their hundreds onto the main road and other roads in the town, where they erected barricades and sang protest songs and dirge.

Their action impeded vehicular movement and crippled business activities. Travelers commuting through Akungba were diverted to alternative route on the outskirts of the town.  

Many of the students blamed the frequency of accidents and killing of students of the institution on the reckless driving of both commercial vehicle owners and motorcyclist in the town.

The protesting students also stormed homes of indigenes to protest alleged shielding reckless commercial drivers or motorcyclists anytime such accident occur.

A Mass Communication student of the school, Emmanuel Adegbola,   told SaharaReporters how the late Ojo was rushed the institution's health centre before his death. 

"Ojo was hit yesterday (Friday) at the market area by a fast-speeding runaway motorcyclist while returning home from the campus after writing one of his papers for the first semester examination. 

"Immediately, the accident occurred, some students quickly rushed him down to the health centre on campus, but the staff of the facility were reluctant to attend to him. They were  asking sympathizers frivolous questions,"  he said.

Adegbola disclosed that in the process some nurses at the health centre informed that Ojo's case was critical and should be taken outside the school for immediate treatment.

"He was then taken to a hospital outside the school and the next day (Saturday), we learnt he was taken from that hospital to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Owo, where he died.

"When students heard the bad news they mobilized and staged a protest starting from the school to the main road of the town calling on the residents to fish out the erring motorcyclist who killed late Ojo at his prime. 

"‎During this protest, some students started  chanting dirge and solidarity songs while others were throwing stones and trying to destroy shops and properties on the streets. 

"This led to commotion and the Indigenes of the community mobilized themselves and attacked them with dangerous weapons and charms, " he explained.

A resident and Indigene of the town, Mayowa Akingbade, told our correspondent that indigenes were provoked by the attack on them.

"They were the first  to attacked us by throwing stones and sticks at our elderly ones and  abusing them

"Some of them even looted our shops and threatened to cause violence in the community if we didn't produce the okada rider that killed their colleague.

"How can we know the exact person that caused the accident when we were not there during. We had to protect ourselves," he said. 

Speaking with a SaharaReporters correspondent in a telephone interview, the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Igbekele Ajibefun, explained that the deceased was rushed out of the school's health centre to the FMC where he died. 

"A director of the health centre rushed the student (Ojo) to a hospital around Iwaro-Oka Akoko. But when he came back to check on him, his situation had become critical, and ‎he was again quickly rushed to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Owo. 

"Unfortunately, he died at the facility of the FMC in the early hours of today ‎(Saturday) and immediately the news his death filtered into the campus, the students gathered to make some issues out of the incident by staging a protest inside the school. 

"We tried to calm them down, saying the accident didn't happen on campus. We warned them against disrupting the academic activities on campus. But a few ones among them went ahead to gather others and blocked the entrance to the gate and the main road. 

"Some hoodlums joined them, and they disrupted activities. It is just unfortunate that this is happening when the students are writing their first semester examination," Ajibefun said.

He added that many of the students had wanted the school management to postpone the exams, but stressed that they would continue despite the protest.

The Vice Chancellor further informed our correspondent that the management will on Monday set up an investigating panel to ‎look into the incident with a view to coming up with a resolution. 

The State Police Public Relations Officer, Femi Joseph Femi, told our correspondent that peace in being maintained in the town operatives of the Joint Security Task Force.

Joseph who added that the police, have opened an investigation into the matter.

"We have deployed security agencies through the effort of a combined team of policemen to maintain peace in the town and avoid further breakdown of law and order while the investigation has already commenced. 

"Although, the residents ‎of the town seem to be unhappy about the behaviour over of the students, I can assure that normalcy has been restored, and police shall maintain proper peace and order," he said. 

It was learnt that security agencies including Army officers from the 32 Artillery Brigade have taken over the streets of the town to prevent further breakdown of law and order between the students and indigenes.

The corpse of the deceased has been deposited at a morgue.