President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to act on the crisis rocking the Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA, Ondo State, before it degenerates to another police brutality against innocent students.
Pro-democracy group, the Wailing Wailers, in a statement on Thursday, in Abuja, and signed by its National Youth Leader, Prince Yemi Adebowale said: “Our urgent attention has been drawn to the crisis that is brewing up at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) where the police Wednesday brutally manhandled the student union leaders, the dean of students affairs and other members of the university community.
“The Nigerian Wailers as a Pro-Democracy and defender of Nigerian people urgently calls on the Federal government, the police head and EFCC to look into the crises in FUTA to avert another bloody student unrest, civil unrest and confrontation with the security forces which is capable of affecting the lives and property of the the students, police and other members of the university community, the government must not ignore this urgent call.
“The report says that the school authority temporarily reopened the university earlier to allow the NYSC participants from the institution to partake in the mobilization exercise with the consent of the striking Join Action Committee (JAC). In what looked like a set up sponsored moves by the aggrieved JAC, the Student Union leaders who were present for a meeting with the Dean of student affairs were beaten up by their members and the policemen invited to arrest the student leaders whom they reported were thieves.
“University is a place of learning and moulding of characters of generational leaders, it should not be a place where students will be made to face harassment and physical assault, we are of the opinion that if the Minister of Education is competent enough as the case may be, his priority should be how quality education that will impact on the Nigerian student will be achieved through a proper monitoring.
“Since the assumption of the office, the Minister of Education has been invincible and on a ghost mode on matter that bothers on the welfare of education, Students and infrastructures, nothing can be shown as his contribution toward a better tertiary education, least is to guarantee the student safety against any oppression or intimidation of any form.
“Testimomy of the Student Affairs officer, Professor Alese of FUTA on the actions of the protesting JAC read: ‘I was supposed to meet with the leadership of ASUUCoop by 11am this morning Dec 21st, 2016 at ASUU secretariat to discuss the MOU of the ASUUCOOP hostel. I already invited the students to my office for 10.30 am to take their input to the meeting and explain the new registration portal to them. Along the line I was told that my office was padlocked by JAC. I called the Sherrif Deputy to send security and I got a Carpenter to join them to open it. The carpenter came and the students were there for the meeting. As I was coming, I branched at the secretariat just to tell the Student Union president that I would be a bit late. On getting to the secretariat, I got a distress call that that JAC people were beating the students Union Leaders in my office, I ran to the North gate to complain to the Mopol after which they immediately took me inside their van to the place. On getting there, they made the students union leaders to kneel down while beating them to the extent of blood coming out of the head of one them and the rest injured. I came out of Van and shouted that the students should not be beaten and they should stand up because they were not criminals but Students union leader led by the FUTASU president. On hearing this, they started beating me up. We had to enter the police van and thereafter called the police commissioner who asked them to bring me. The worst is that the police at the Senate ground joined them to beat us. So I don’t know which version anybody has had. They are students union leaders led by the president. The JAC people misled the police with them on senate ground that the students were burglars and that I sent them to go and burgle my office.’
“We rebuke the actions of the officers of Nigerian police in strong terms for beating up and harassing the Students and a member of the University management, Nigerians should not condone this attitude of disrespect for our ivory towers and future leaders. We call on President Buhari to wade in into the matter before another bloody clash like that of IPOB, Shiittes is repeated in the university environment in FUTA, Akure because the incident is capable of triggering unrest if other student bodies such as NANS, NANPS e.t.c decides to join to resist the embarrassment on its members.
“The FUTA students are peaceful and are only asking for a reopen of their University to continue their learning and other academic activities. Without the students there can be no JAC or Vice Chancellor/management of the institution, their wishes must be put into consideration above all things, its a democracy which must be practiced in all our sector of the economy.”