For the first time since it was established about seven years ago, Ajayi Crowther University (ACU), Oyo, in Oyo State was yesterday thrown into confusion as hundreds of students trooped to the street to protest the death of one of their colleagues. The dead colleague, Elvis Abu Paul, a 300 level Computer Science student allegedly died on Sunday at the university health centre.
The violent protest by the students grounded academic, commercial and administrative activities at the institution as the students deserted their classrooms, chanting war songs, while also destroying the university’s property.
During the demonstration, research materials, books and vehicles belonging to some lecturers of the university, the institution’s health centre, Accounting and Economics Department were razed by the rampaging students, while part of the perimeter fencing of the University main-gate was also pulled down.
Sources at the university told Daily Sun that the deceased was rushed to the health centre on Sunday after he suddenly took ill and was immediately placed on oxygen by doctors on duty. He allegedly died after men of the Works Department mistakenly put off the generating set which was being used to power the machine at the health centre
The deceased, according to one his close friends had development a rupture in his system which he added, was due to excessive intake of alcohol, making the medications administered on him at the health centre to fail.
Another source added that the deceased was later to be rushed to the general hospital for prompt medical attention but was not allowed to pass through the main gate based on the excuse that the university’s ambulance had no exit pass.
Shortly after the students got wind of the death of Paul, they were said to have been provoked by the development, having complained to the university’s management several times on the need to improve the services at its health centre.
The irate students immediately barricaded the entrance to the college while bonfires were set up on the Oyo-Ogbomoso highway to announce their protest.
They accused the health workers of not attending to the deceased on time, which eventually led to its untimely death.
A detachment of Oyo Division of the Police Command invited by the management to contain the students’ protest allegedly stormed the male and female hostels, and was firing teargas canisters indiscriminately; a situation Daily Sun gathered further provoked the students.
One of the lecturers who lost property to the protest, Mr Olajie Ogunsola wept profusely, while narrating his experience to reporters.
Ogunsola, a Management Information System ((MIS) lecturer said he lost books and research materials to the crisis.
As a result of the protest, the institution has announced the indefinite closure of the school. The insitution’s Public Relations Officers (PRO), Mrs Wale Ademowo, said students have been directed to leave the school campus for their homes.
Efforts to speak with the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Timothy Jaiyeoba, failed, as he was busy trying to contain the protest.