Says Govt‘ll defrays hospital bills of the injured
By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Ado-Ekiti-Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has expressed regret at the death of two students of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti during the violent protest by the students of the institution.
The Governor’s Wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi and her entourage were caught up in the violent protest, which allegedly claimed the lives of two students, while several others sustained injuries.
Fayemi said he has directed the State Commissioner of Police to urgently commence an investigation into the circumstances that led to the unfortunate shooting incident with a view to identifying possible culprits within and outside the Force.
He said this step will be taken together with the ongoing investigation by the University management, after which, there may be the need to consider an independent panel of inquiry, once these fact finding investigations are concluded.
Fayemi, who said this in a statewide broadcast on Monday morning, appealed for calm and caution, warning that “no persons or group should attempt to use this tragic incident to destabilise the peace and progress of Ekiti State. It is time for sober reflection as we mourn the dead and care for the wounded.
“Any death is a tragedy. Any shooting arising from legitimate protests diminishes our fledgling democratic dispensation and calls to question our commitment to fundamental human rights.
“Having heard from all parties to the incident, it is pertinent that I now personally convey my deeply felt sorrow for the loss of two promising young lives and for those who suffered injuries.
“To be sure, our government prides itself on its strict adherence to the rule of law. The right of citizens to protest on any issue relating to governmental actions or inactions is a fundamental component of our good governance agenda.
“We could not therefore under any circumstances have directed that deadly force be used on any of our citizens freely expressing their right to protest.
“Even before the conclusion of the investigations into this matter, we have taken a number of steps; a high level government delegation has visited the families of the deceased. This will not be a one-off intervention. We will stand firmly with, and support the families at this time.
“Those persons with varying degrees of injuries will also be given support whilst their hospital expenses will be defrayed by government”, Fayemi said.
He added the the issue that led to the protest, which is the epileptic power supply to the institution are being addressed.
He suggested that other less lethal means of managing public protest should explored by the security agencies.