— Forcefully dismantled barricade
Dayo Johnson Akure
The peaceful protest embarked upon by students of three tertiary institutions in Ondo State, over the prolonged strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has been disrupted by some soldiers.
Protest by the students of Federal University of Technology, Akure, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko and the Olusegun Agagu University of Technology, Okitipupa entered the second day yesterday.
Reports had it that the soldiers, who were transiting on Akure/ Ilesha highway, forcefully dismantled the barricade erected by the protesting students.
They reportedly fired gunshots sporadically in the air to disperse the protesting students and forcibly removed and threw away the barricade to pave way for their convoy.
In a bid to avoid being hit by stray bullets, the protesting students and others in the area scampered for safety.
Recall, that protest, which started on Monday disrupted traffic for hours on the highway leaving many travellers stranded.
An eyewitness told Vanguard that “the protesting students converged again on this morning (Tuesday) and barricaded the road.
“After some hours of the protest, the military men in camouflage, who were travelling along the road in a convoy of their vehicles met the expressway barricaded by the protesters.
“The military men after talking to the students to clear the road for them and the latter refused to clear the road, shot into the air and dispersed the protesters, cleared the road and went on their way.
“When the soldiers got to the scene and met the road barricaded, some of them came down to speak with the students but they (students) refused to open the road.
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” Suddenly, the soldiers shot sporadically into the air to disperse the protesters. Many people around the area also ran helter-skelter for safety. After that, the soldiers cleared the road and their vehicles passed .”
Vanguard learnt, nobody was injured in the process.
Meanwhile, the protesting students returned to barricade the highway after the Soldiers have left the scene.
The protesters alleged that the military men were deliberately sent to the scene to disrupt the protest.
” We are holding our peaceful protest, we were not violent, the. policemen were with us, the Amotekun people were also at the scene, we didn’t disturb them, they didn’t disturb us.
“Suddenly the soldiers just came and asked us to stop the protest, they were shooting us, they want to kill us. That is part of what Buhari is doing to Nigeria, we will not relent, let them come tomorrow and kill us. They are enemies of progress, they are enemies of Nigeria, God will punish them.”
The state police spokesperson, Mrs Funmi Odunlami confirmed the incident.
Odunlami declined to comment further saying the said incident did not involve the commands of police officers.