• ASUU suspends lectures
Femi Makinde and Olaleye Aluko
The Osun State University chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities has directed its members at the varsity’s College of Education in Ipetu Ijesa to suspend teaching due to the brutalisation of lecturers and students on the campus.
This is just as PUNCH Metro gathered that the air force men launched a fresh attack on private hostels occupied by UNIOSUN’s students late on Tuesday.
The Chairman of UNIOSUN ASUU, Dr Seye Abiona, told our correspondent on the telephone in Osogbo on Wednesday that the move was necessary in order to protect the lecturers.
Abiona, who condemned the attack, said the union might take a legal action against the Nigerian Air Force for the attack, saying either the college or the air force base might need to be relocated in the interest of peace.
He said, “We have asked lecturers at the Ipetu Ijesa campus to suspend teaching until those who brutalised our members are flushed out and punished according to the law. The university has given the students a week break and we have directed all lecturers to suspend any activity at the campus.
“I don’t know why the air force institute is located directly opposite the university. But may be the institute will be relocated to another place. I think that should be done to guarantee peace.”
PUNCH Metro learnt that the rampaging air men continued the brutalisation of students of the university after the first two attacks carried out on the campus.
Our correspondent gathered that the military men later stormed the private hostels where UNIOSUN students lived off the campus, beat them up and injured a large number of them.
A student told our correspondent on the telephone that a 400-level student of the university, Francis Olanubi, was hacked with machete by the irate military men
The Dean, Student Affairs, UNIOSUN, Dr Adebimpe Adigun, confirmed the fresh attack to our correspondent on Wednesday.
She said, “They called me again that the air force men went to various hostels where our students live and attacked them again. I was told that one of our students was attacked with machete. He was taken to the school clinic for treatment.”
Our correspondent gathered on Wednesday that the crisis started when some air force men detained a student suspected to being a Yahoo boy (fraudster).
The source said, “The Yahoo boys in our school usually settle men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad whenever they come.
“The SARS men came as usual yesterday (Tuesday), but one of the Yahoo boys ran to the air force institute to stay with his friends. He was accused of not contributing money to settle the policemen before he ran away.
“Other suspected Yahoo boys went to see him there and demanded that he should contribute money, but his air force friends told the boys to go away. The Yahoo boys were said to have asked the air force men to stay out of the matter. The reply infuriated the air force men, who descended on the Yahoo boys.
“They (air force) also detained one of the boys. Some students, who heard of the action of the air force men, mobilised to free the boys.
“Some lecturers calmed the students down, but as they (lecturers) were still talking, the air force men thought the students were going to attack them; they immediately invaded the campus and beat up everybody.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Air Force said on Wednesday that it had started investigations into the invasion of UNIOSUN, adding that the culpable officers would be dealt with at the end of the probe.
The Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya, said this in a press release, adding that the force regretted the incident.
He said, “We have heard the reports of some of our personnel being involved in a fracas on the campus of Osun State University at Ipetu Ijesha. While the NAF highly regrets the incident, it is noteworthy that the reported incident 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 should 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.”
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