•One student injured, 4 vehicles burnt, several others vandalised
Authorities of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), has shut down the institution following the students violent protest.
But the institution’s Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Emi Alawode, in a release said the school declared a seven-day mid-semester break for the Second Semester, 2015/2016 academic session with effect from Thursday, August 18, 2016.
She said the break was declared to enable the university to put additional welfare and security arrangements in place, to further support the initiatives of the Federal and State Governments, towards the protection of lives and properties of its
citizens, particularly, members of staff and students of the university.
Earlier on Thursday morning, before the closure of the institution, hundreds of students of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNNAB), went on rampage over issue of insecurity that had become a recurring decimal in recent times, in the institution’s host communities.
The aggrieved students, Nigerian Tribune gathered, had, in the early hours of the day, staged a peaceful protest to the school gate as early as 6.00 a.m., blocked the main entrance to the institution.
The development thereby caused heavy traffic gridlock on the road leading to the school, as staff members were prevented from gaining entry in to the school.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that the students action followed an attack on one of the private student hostels in the school area, Adejoke Hostel, Isolu community, in the early hours of Wednesday, by armed robbers.
It was further gathered that students living off campus had been experiencing incessant invasion of their hostels by armed men.
The development, it was gathered led to disruption of academic and administrative activities in the institution.
Many students and workers of the institution’s were stranded at different bus stops over the incident.
However, the peaceful protest went awry, as the students engaged the police team who were trying to maintain peace and orderliness, while the policemen became subject of attack by the irate students.
The students, despite plea by policemen led by the Divisional Police Officers of Obantoko and Odeda, Mrs. Veronica Osakwe and Mr. Ojogo Olorunlana, and the acting Police Public Relations Officer, to vacate the highway fell on their deaf hears.
They irate students allegedly threw caution in the wind, attacked the policemen and threw stones at them. They attacked an officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC), and a police officer, in the process to douse the situation.
A student, identified as Taiwo Abisoye, 100 level student of Forestry and Wildlife, was hit by a canister fired by a policeman. The Policemen retreated from the scene of the incident because they were very few.
The students angered by the development went on rampage and set four vehicles on fire, several vehicles vandalized, a church building, Divine Heights Bible Church, at Kotopo area, was equally badly managed.
Vehicular movements was halted for several hours due to the incident, as commercial places were hurriedly locked up.
The entire camp area to Obantoko became tensed, but the deployment of more policemen, men of the Mobile Police Force and men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS), brought the situation under control.
The men of the state Fire Service were also on ground to put off the fire on the cars set ablaze by the students.
The students also set a Police Post ablaze at Osiele area and also injured the Divisional Officer, on duty.
The injured student was taken to the Federal Medical Centre, Idi-Aba for treatment and was later reportedly transferred to the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.
Oyeyemi, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, said the protest was probably hijacked by hoodlums.
He said that the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Olalade Enikuomehin and himself, had earlier addressed the students that the University and security agencies would fashion out ways to solve the problem raised by the students.
The PPRO said that no fewer than 34 people have been arrested in connection with the incident and that investigation into it would commenced in earnest.
Meanwhile, the University management has directed that students should embark on mid-semester break.