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NAF to probe alleged invasion of Osun University by knife-wielding personnel

By: Kingsley Omonobi
Abuja – The Nigerian Air Force said on Wednesday, it has commenced investigation into the alleged fracas involving men of the force and students of the Osun State University, Ipetu Ijesha campus.
This came as PREMIUM TIMES  has reported another  attack on students of the Osun State University on Tuesday, brutalizing many with gun butts, knives and sticks, hours after a similar attack left several students and staff of the institution hospitalised, .
 
Nigerian Air Force noted that if its personnel are found wanting in the matter, disciplinary actions will be meted out to those involved.
 
A statement signed by Air Commodore Olatokumbo Adesanya, Director of Airforce Public Relations said, “The attention of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has been drawn to reports of some of its personnel being involved in a fracas on the campus of the University of Osun State at Ipetu Ijesha.

“While the NAF highly regrets the entire incidence, it is noteworthy that the reported incidence is not a reflection of what the NAF stands for.

“The NAF is a highly professional force that does not condone or encourage the violation of anyone’s human rights.
 “The general public is invited to kindly note that the NAF has already commenced formal investigations into the reported unfortunate incidence.

“At the end of the investigations, Nigerians are assured that any NAF personnel found culpable will be dealt with in accordance with the appropriate laws.”
Officials told PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday that after the first round of attacks early Tuesday, the rampaging soldiers went off campus searching for students and manhandling those they found.

The school’s Dean of Students Affairs, Adebimpe Adigun, who confirmed the incident, said a distress call was made to the school’s main campus at Osogbo, where they had evacuated to after the first attack.

She said the message was that the soldiers had moved to students’ residences.

“When we came in this morning (Wednesday) we confirmed that it was true and that the military men had destroyed doors of the students’ rooms and cut some of them with machete,” Mrs. Adigun said.

“Some of them are currently in the hospital right now receiving treatment, including the one that received a machete cut.”

She said the men also attacked a home where a mother of three children lived, thinking it was student accommodation.

“The woman fled with two of her children as the men broke into the house, but the third one could not run, so he hid under a chair in the room so the men could not find him,” Mrs. Adigun confirmed.
She said the school management had made reports to the Police Commissioner and the State Security Services in the state, adding that one of the security operatives witnessed the section round of attacks on the students.

The cause of the bloody attack is unclear. Air Force authorities said they were investigating, and vowed to punish offending personnel.

“As I speak to you we still do not have any opportunity to know the reasons behind the attack,” she said.

“But a committee has been set up to look into the matter and a report would be presented to the Vice Chancellor of the institution at the conclusion of the investigation.”

She added that officials of the school’s management, the police and the Commandant of the Air Force Safety Institute, met with the community leaders on Wednesday in order to restore peace to the area.
The school was shut down Tuesday following the attacks.

The Vice Chancellor of the University, Labode Poopola, said the school had issued a week recess to students to allow them recover from the shock and to allow peace to return to the area.

“The break is necessitated by the invasion of the campus and brutalization of the staff and students by men of the Nigeria Air Force Safety Institute,Ipetu-Ijesa,”he said.


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