Abeokuta - Dr Abiodun Ojo, the Provost, Tai Solarin College of Education
(TASCE), Omu, Ijebu, on Friday confirmed that only one student lost his
life during a recent protest by the students.
Ojo made this known in Abeokuta during a meeting with members of the
state House of Assembly Committee on Education, suspended Students'
Union executive members and officials of the institution.
The officials of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology were also in attendance.
He said that 46 students were initially arrested by the police during the protest and that 40 had since been released.
"The institution also expelled 26 students because of their involvement in the protest,’’ he said.
Addressing the committee, the President of the suspended Students'
Union, Rotimi Oluwasegun, also confirmed that only one student died.
Oluwasegun said that the students embarked on the protest because of
the school authority’s refusal to allow over 50 per cent of the 200
level students to write examination over the non-payment of tuition
Oluwasegun explained that an attempt by fellow students to prevent
the DPO of Odogbolu Police Station from taking the union’s president
away, led to chaos.
According to him, the police officer fell down and his vehicle was smashed by the protesting students.
He further said that this development triggered reinforcement by the
police authority to douse tension, the process of which led to the death
of the student, Aromasodun Rasaq.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Adeyinka Mafe, said that the incident could have been avoided.
He said that the unruly behaviour of the students led to the death of
the student, the injury sustained by the DPO and the damage of his car.
"No life would have been lost, if the students had been more cautious," he said.
He, however, advised that in future, policemen should be more
professional, use rubber and not real bullets to disperse protesting
He charged students to always avoid anything that could lead to the breakdown of law and order.
Mafe added that the account of the student leader had shown that the
state government did not order the police to open fire on the students
as believed in some quarters.
The lawmaker also requested the school authority to clarify that the
students whose names were initially broadcast were not cultists.
He then urged the police to release on bail, the remaining six
students in their custody, adding that the the committee would soon make
its report known to the public.