Academic activities were disrupted on the campus of the Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Ikeji Arakeji, Osun State, on Monday, as students of the institution protested against the alleged nonchalant attitude of the management to their security.
According to a source on the campus, the students trooped out in their hundreds to express their displeasure over the incessant invasion of the female hostels by marauders, suspected to be guards employed by the school management.
According to The Punch, the source narrated that the protest, which was initially peaceful, turned violent when the Registrar of the university, Mr Wale Aderibigbe, allegedly addressed the students in an abusive manner.
It was gathered that many properties of the school were vandalised during the protest.
One of the students, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said some men suspected to be local security guards always invaded the female hostels to molest the students.
He said, “The students suspected that those responsible for the act are the security men employed from a neighbouring community, Owena. They usually steal the girls’ phones, food items, money and other valuables.
“This was happening occasionally before, but it has become a regular occurrence in the last three weeks. Yesterday (Sunday, they came again and nobody has ever been arrested. We lodged complaints with the school management but it did nothing about it.”
A female student, who identified herself simply as Ade, said the registrar made the protest to turn violent while addressing the angry students, as he threatened to shut down the school if they did not stop the protest.
She said, “The registrar made the matter worse when he told the students that he would shut down the school instead of appealing to them. He said none of them paid more than N500,000 per session.
“He even invited the police to arrest us on our campus for fighting for our right. All these infuriated the students and they became violent.”
All efforts to reach the acting Vice-Chancellor of JABU, Prof. Theophilous Olowokure, and the registrar were unsuccessful as they were said to be unavailable for comments on the matter.
But a worker in the office of the registrar, who did not want his identity revealed because he was not permitted to speak on the matter, confirmed the incident and said the management was on top of the matter.
“As I am speaking with you, the management staff members are in a meeting to resolve the issue,” he stated.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer for Osun State, Folasade Odoro, said the matter had not been reported to the command as of the time of filing this report.
“We have not been informed. But as soon as I have any information as regards that, I will get back to you,” Odoro said