On the 24th of April, students of the Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) blocked the Federal Highway which runs through the town of Oye-Ekiti and leads to Abuja.
This happened during a protest over inadequate power supply in the host community and neighbouring towns.
As CAMPUS REPORTER gathered, on the 18th of April 2019, students in the Ikole campus of the University protested over the same issue of inadequate power which led to the shutting of the BEDC office in the town.
Students in Oye, the main campus, however, took to the streets on Wednesday to replicate the protest in the host community after converging at the gate of the school.
Speaking to CAMPUS REPORTER, a student identified as Naomi Adaramewa who stays in Ayegbaju, a neighbouring town, said she is in support of the agitation because the poor power situation affects all students.
“We use the same light with Oye and sometimes ours is usually low…sometimes we only get to have light twice and it is only when they want to collect money.”
She urged the power holding company to do more because the town is a student town and they have academic responsibilities they can only fulfil if the government handles its responsibilities.
Another student identified as Adebisi Segun Israel, the Deputy Speaker of the Student Representative Council of the FUOYE Student Union said: “We are actually agitating for the regular supply of electricity in Oye-Ekiti.”
“We have been trying to keep silent since and they have taken us for granted and that’s why we decided that if we storm their office in this manner, they will listen to us.”
While explaining why the road was blocked, he said: “We want even the government in Ekiti to feel the impact because, at times, if we just do it and it is only for Oye-Ekiti, they will not feel it in Ado.”
Mr Israel opined that by the time the government in Ado hears, they will call the necessary officials so that they can attend to their needs, properly.
Speaking further, he said he was sure the news had gotten to the state capital as they intended. “Had it been we didn’t block it, they will not know what is happening in Oye right now,” he concluded.
Speaking to CAMPUS REPORTER, a certain Comrade Fapohunda who was travelling along the road during the time of the protest said: “It is quite unfortunate that the students will be in need of a basic necessity that is required in this country”.
He added that the Police officers present should refrain from firing their weapons.
“This is a peaceful protest, the students should behave themselves and the Police officers should also behave themselves,” he stated.
Speaking to CAMPUS REPORTER on the blocking of the road, the president of the Student Union, Awodola Oluwaseun, said the roadblock “is not really cool…that’s why when we noticed our students blocking the road…we tried to curb it with immediate effect so that it won’t lead to something else.”
The Monarch, Oloye of Oye -Ekiti, Oba Michael Ademolaju, while addressing the students, however, urged the students to eschew blocking the highway.
He said: “This is an interstate and intercontinental road,” 6000 students being on the road may lead to problems and he would prefer it if everyone involved in the protest comes out unscathed.
He, therefore, urged the students to go home peacefully while pledging to hand over a transformer in his custody for the improvement of electricity supply in the town among other measures.
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