After three months of darkness, students of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti resolved to stage a protest against the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, the disco in charge of that area.
The protest was called at the instance of the students who massively mobilized themselves to express their displeasure and was led by the Students Union Government.
In the early hours of 9th September, 2019, the students had mobilized themselves and gathered at the Ifaki-Ikole-Omuo highway to draw attention to their plight with presence of police officers drawn from divisions under the Police Command, Ekiti State.
The protest ended peacefully around noon and the students dispersed.
Soon after, the convoy of the wife of Ekiti State Governor drove into town and were received by jubilant party members, motorcycle riders and community leaders to the venue of the program Erelu Bisi Fayemi had scheduled to attend at Oye Ekiti.
Prior to her arrival, the security team attached to Erelu Bisi Fayemi had been copiously briefed on the protest embarked upon by the students necessitating delay for 2hours.
Upon arrival at the venue of the program, the CSO to the State Government invited the Student Union President of FUOYE for a possible dialogue.
Honouring the invitation, facilitated by a Military personnel (attached to a military check point), an armed Counter Terrorism Unit officer, attached to the Wife of the Governor of Ekiti State approached with a slap and assaulted the Student Union President.
Reportedly, this happened in the presence of the CSO, the Military personnel, FUOYE students and indigenes of Oye Ekiti community who got infuriated by the assault on the Student Union President.
OUR FACT FINDING REVEALS THE FOLLOWING;
*That the students protest of 9th September, 2019 was peaceful.
*That the protest was not targeted at the wife of the governor but the BEDC
*That the students had dispersed before the entrance of Erelu Bisi Fayemi, wife of Ekiti State Governor into Oye community.
*That the people of the community mobilized to welcome the wife of the governor from entrance to the venue of her program without any threat to her person and her entourage
*That the Student Union President was invited from where he had earlier retired to take a rest by the Chief Security Officer to the Ekiti State Governor.
*That an unnamed officer with the Counter Terrorism Unit attached to the Wife of the Governor of Ekiti State did slap and molest the student Union President without any provocation in the presence of the CSO to the governor.
*That the Student Union President left the venue after being pacified by the CSO and the military personnel who had earlier invited him for a meeting with the CSO.
*That due to infuriation by the students and indigenes present during the molestation and assault of the Student Union President by the CTU officer, the atmosphere became tensed and in the ensuing altercations, the wife of the governor abruptly ended her engagement at Oye-Ekiti. Whereas, a simple attention by H.E Erelu Fayemi would have calmed the situation but massive ‘force’ was deployed by the Counter Terrorism Unit officers attached to Erelu Bisi Fayemi in whisking her away from the venue.
*That the CTU officers employed brute force, shooting sporadically at different directions in a bid to whisk away the Wife of the Governor who was obviously under no threat whatsoever.
*That in the course of shooting sporadically, clear intentions were made by the CTU officers to kill as bullets and tear gas cannisters were fired aiming at harmless students and indigenes.
*That during the shooting, four students were fired, one in the head, another in the hand and the other in the stomach.
*That one indigene was also shot in the buttock while doing legitimate business in his shop
*That while Kehinde Dada died on the spot, Joseph Okonofua was rushed to the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti where several operations were performed to save his life by the medical team on hand proved abortive.
*That several others were injured, rushed to different hospitals for medical care.
*That one of the victims hit by a canister fired by an armed officer of the CTU was immediately referred to Lagos State Teaching Hospital and currently paralyzed.
*That many of the students and indigenes sustained bullet wounds and varying degrees of injuries some of whom have received treatment and recuperating.
*That both Kehinde Dada and Joseph Okonofua felled by CTU officers attached to Erelu Bisi Fayemi has been buried in Usi-Ekiti, Ekiti State and Ewu, Edo State respectively without any autopsy conducted to them.
THE UNFORTUNATE DENIAL
Despite the murder of two promising students during her political visitation to Oye-Ekiti, the wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi rushed to the media upon hearing that casualties have been recorded as a result of her security attaché unprofessionalism, overzealousness and barbarism to allege that the students attacked her convoy and that she only escaped through the grace of God.
Again, the Ekiti State Government hurriedly, without verification and due diligence, through the Commissioner for Information, Orientation and Culture, Mr. Muyiwa Olumilua laboriously attempted to pull the wool off the eyes of the public by dishing out dishonest views in respect to what transpired; all were aimed at covering up the stark reality of their misdeed.
Painful however, the subtle plans to negate the occurrence and paint a picture of political attack were soon distorted by on the spot video recordings of the brutality.
While many believed that Police officers at the Ekiti State Command precipitated the crisis, NANS investigation revealed that the CTU officers attached to the wife of Ekiti State Governor is not under the control of the Police command.
Whereas, Ekiti State is not listed amongst states under threats of terrorist attack, attaching multitude of CTU officers to an individual is nonetheless viewed by Nigerian students and Ekiti citizens as an abuse of power.
That every attempt has been made by the government and agents in collaboration with the State government at suppressing the truth, intimidating those who spoke against the barbarism and breaking the ranks of the student leadership, her structural organs and active members.
Suffice to say that efforts are still ongoing by the agents of Ekiti State government to declassify genuine efforts by the NANS leadership in seeking justice.
THE KAYODE FAYEMI BROADCAST
There’s no gainsaying the fact that Governor John Kayode Fayemi in his broadcast was humane, though an afterthought, He nonetheless failed to acknowledge the pains of the people and families, communities and the University community, NANS and Nigerian students by apologizing on behalf of his wife for the unfortunate brutality on harmless citizens.
Much as the Governor laboured to impress the public with his crafted thoughts, the message failed to situate the reality of the sad occurrence leading to the death of two promising students of FUOYE with his outright emphasis that Erelu Bisi Fayemi, his wife was the victim of the unfortunate brutality. We out of curiosity ask, who was brutal?
INTERVENTION AND VERIFICATION
In response to the call by Nigerians demanding justice for the murdered FUOYE students, the Global President of NANS Danielson Bamidele Akpan led a delegation to Ekiti State on the 15th of September, 2019 to assess the situation.
Until arrival, no remorse was shown by any of the actors in the unfortunate incident. Students were indiscriminately arrested and detained at the Ekiti State Police Command beyond the rightful 24hrs permitted by the law. It took the intervention of the delegation to secure the release of those in detention and retrieve the impounded ‘Aluta vehicle’ belonging to the Students’ Union Government of FUOYE.
The wife of the governor/the Ekiti State government had rather alleged that the students attacked the convoy on that fateful day.
Amongst other places where investigations were covertly done, the leadership in keeping to #JUSTICEFORFUOYE interacted with the following:
The State Security Service, Ekiti State Command, The Commissioner of Police, Ekiti State Command, Royal Highnesses both at Oye-Ekiti and Usi-Ekiti, The SUG President and executive members of FUOYE, The NANS JCC leadership in Ekiti State, former leaders of NANS in Ekiti State and South Western Nigeria, Parents and families of the murdered students (Kehinde Dada and Joseph Okonofua), indigenes of Oye, Ikole and Usi-Ekiti, Management and Board of Federal Medical Center, Ido-Ekiti, Management and Staff of Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, The SA Youth and Student to the Governor of Ekiti State amongst others.
These interactions were quite revealing, enriching and as well informative.
*That it is incumbent as a ‘moral duty’ on the wife of the Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi to make available the list of Counter Terrorism Unit officers attached to her person and office.
* That Erelu Bisi Fayemi should tell the entire public why she moves in a convoy of CTU officers instead of Special Protection Unit officers designated for the protection of VIP’s such as her likes.
*That an apology letter be written by Erelu Bisi Fayemi; published in at least 5 national dailies, 6 television stations with wide coverage and 12 radio stations spread across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria and 20 online news medium.
*That the Ekiti State Government should without delay retract statements credited to the Commissioner of Information, Orientation and culture claiming that the wife of the governor and her convoy were attacked by FUOYE students.
*That beyond condolence visits paid to families of Kehinde Dada and Joseph Okonofua, practical effort should be made by the state government to deliberately assuage the grieving families through;
1. Employment into the state civil service at least 2 members of each of the families of the deceased students deemed employable.
2. Immortalization of the slained students.
3. Immediate release of CTU officers attached to the wife of the Ekiti State Governor for prosecution in accordance to the laws.
4. That a judicial commission of inquiry involving all stakeholders including the students, members of the host communities and the deceased families be set up immediately to unravel the cause of the incident with a view to forestalling future occurrence.
5. The Ekiti State Government should immediately pay the gratuity and pension of the parents of Kehinde Dada which they have not paid for Seven Years after retirement.
6. That all the medical bills of the survivors be paid with Twenty million Naira (N20m) each as compensation.
*That the Ekiti State Government should as a matter of urgency provide transformers to communities hosting the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti to facilitate regular supply of electricity.
That the Benin Electricity Distribution Company should show efficiency and ensure supply of electricity to the campuses of FUOYE both at Oye-Ekiti and Ikole-Ekiti and other communities where the students reside.
*That no attempt should be made at pointing accusations at the Students Union Government of FUOYE, any of her executives and or any students in relation to the protest which is entirely not connected with the brute of the overzealous CTU officers attached to Erelu Bisi Fayemi.
*That the IGP should as a matter of urgency reconstitute the Police Students Relations Committee who can interface and nip in the bud the incessant killing of innocent Nigerian students by trigger happy Police officers and create a student’s friendly police.
*That the Police authorities should bar police officers such as SARS, CTU e.t.c other than the regular police from meddling in student matters especially on campuses or communities hosting students.
*That the NANS hereby places a ban on the wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi and her spouse from entering, attending or participating in any activity(ies) on any campus of any Tertiary Institution in Nigeria pending the resolution of all issues in contention.
*That NANS demands that all of these demands are met before 10th October, 2019.
The National Association of Nigerian Students ably led by Comr. Danielson Bamidele Akpan wishes to profoundly thank the following;
Director SSS, Ekiti State
CP, Ekiti State Police Command
Board and Management, Federal Medical Centre, Ido-Ekiti
HRH, Oloye of Oye-Ekiti
HRH, Olusi of Usi-Ekiti
Vice Chancellor and Management Staff, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti
NANS VP External Affairs and PRO
SA, Student and Youth to the Governor of Ekiti State
NANS leaders and stakeholders, Zone D
NANS JCC leadership, Ekiti State
NANS JCC leadership, Ondo state.
Federation of Ekiti State Students Union
Parents and families of Kehinde Dada and Joseph Okonofua
Comrades and stakeholders of NANS, Ekiti State
Comrades and stakeholders from Oyo, Osun and Ogun
The entire public.
Having lost two promising sons, our heartfelt condolences once again goes to the families of Mr and Mrs Dada of Usi-Ekiti and Mr and Mrs Okonofua of Ewu, Edo State.
Our resolve to ensure #JusticeforFuoye is predicated on the fact that abuse of power by those in authorities should not be swept under the carpet. No live is superior to another. NANS shall ensure justice. Practical actions will be taken in making sure this is the last of such abuse on Nigerian students.
We call on the National Human Rights Commission, The Media, Civil Liberty Organisation, Human Rights Activists, Amnesty International and other public interest organizations to support us in bringing justice in this matter.
Any attempt by the Ekiti State government to attack or sabotage this resolve will be met with quick response.
In the coming days, we shall stand tall to prove that nobody is above the law.
Comr. Danielson Bamidele Akpan, GCNS
National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS)