By Ola Ajayi
About 25 students of one of the secondary schools located in Ogbere area of Ibadan metropolis were said to have been arrested while protesting the rumour of poisoned food allegedly served by the Oyo State Government in order to win April election in the state.
Saturday Vanguard gathered that the students were nabbed when destroying campaign posters of the State Governor, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala.
After their arrest, they were reportedly detained at Ogbere Onilanta Police Station and this led to the protest of the parents of the detained students to the palace of the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odulana.
When Saturday Vanguard called the police to verify the arrest, the phone calls were not through.
The rumour of the poisoned food paralyzed academic activities in many public schools in the city yesterday as very few students were seen in their schools.
According to the rumour, the aim of serving the food among the school children was to use some children for ritual purposes so as to win the April poll.
Though, the government made spirited effort to keep the rumour at bay through intermittent public announcement that it was masterminded by political opposition, many children did not come to school yesterday .
While speaking to newsmen on the rumour yesterday, the state Commissioner for Education, Dr. Nureni Adeniran, said there was poor attendance in schools.
He said the rumour of food poison must have been responsible for the low turn_out of students in schools.
Responding to the rumour, the Director_General, Akala/Arapaja Campaign Organisation, Mr. Demola Ojo, said it was the handiwork of opponents saying they had gone to the extreme.
The rumour caused panic in areas like Yemetu, Orita-Aperin, Mokola, Eleyele, Sango, Elekuro, and many other places in Ibadan metropolis.
Owing to the anxiety and insistence of the parents to go with their children, the education authority was said to have directed the schools to release the children to their parents since it was almost closing time.
But the Special Adviser to the governor on Communication, Dotun Oyelade said, “It has been brought to our notice that some miscreants and misguided characters are peddling rumour around the city of Ibadan that some people are to be sacrificed for fetish reasons.