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Cult groups clash, vandalise vehicles as Ibadan poly students resume

By Rotimi Agboluaje, Ibadan
09 May 2019   |   4:19 am
Students of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, again went on rampage yesterday as rival cult group members attacked one another. The violence erupted...

Students of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, again went on rampage yesterday as rival cult group members attacked one another. The violence erupted at the South Gate area of the institution. While many vehicles were vandalized, no life was however lost.

Vehicles, including campus shuttle buses, private cars and tricycles were vandalised. The violence started on Tuesday, the day the institution reopened for academic activities after a five-week compulsory break. The break was occasioned by a similar violence that left one student dead.

Some suspected cultists had on Tuesday afternoon launched an attack on the polytechnic, where they vandalised six cars and two tricycles belonging to some employees of the institution and commercial operators.

Tuesday’s attack came few hours after the management of the institution announced resumption of academic activities. The institution said the resumption became necessary in order for students to continue their academic exercise for the remaining part of the first semester of the 2018/2019 academic session.

The resumption directive was contained in a statement signed by the Registrar of the institution, Mrs. Modupe Theresa Fawale. In the statement, each student was asked to pay N2,000 reparation fee on resumption.

Fawale disclosed that a town-and-gown meeting held on Monday with parents, guardians, communities surrounding the institution as well as traditional rulers, religious leaders and landlord associations yielded positive results, which culminated in the decision to re-open the institution.

The statement reads: “Each student on resumption is to pay a reparation fee of N2, 000 for the enormous damage of the institution’s facilities. The students will also among other things swear to an affidavit to be of good conduct while those residing in neighbouring communities would sign a bond with their landlords to be of good conduct and worthy ambassador of the institution. Each student is also to write an undertaking to be of utmost good conduct.”

But just before working hours, some of the students stormed the South gate of the institution with dangerous weapons such as guns, broken bottles and axes. It took the intervention of the joint-security task force, Operation Burst and men from the Department of State Services (SSS) to quell the violence.

They also stayed back to screen people and vehicles moving in and out of the campus. An eyewitness, who spoke in confidence, stated that the students were trying to protest the payment of N2,000 reparation fee.

Another source within the campus said the gunmen invaded the institution some minutes before 4:00p.m. on Tuesday. He said: “There were rains of gunshots as some unknown men disrupted the peace.

“Those people were three with two holding guns, and one with axe. They were in blue top and black beret. When they came, the security men manning the gate ran for their lives as they were shooting in the air as well as destroying cars with the axe.

“Before the security operatives would reach the venue of the situation, the perpetrators of the acts have left the scene. I was not there, but that is the information I got and am giving to you. Please treat it with utmost confidentiality.”

But the Public Relations Officer of the polytechnic, Alhaji Soladoye Adewole, when asked for comments, said he was yet to be ‘briefed’ about the incident.

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