At least 10 undergraduates of Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, and Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, were attacked and beaten by some thugs on Friday evening.
The thugs were said to be working for a group known as ‘Aketi Students Support Group’ seeking the re-election of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo.
Led by immediate past President of the National Association of Ondo State Students, Mr Olarewanju Akeredolu, the group is said to have been moving around campuses in the state to coerce students into supporting the governor for a second term in office.
SaharaReporters gathered on Saturday that trouble started when members of the group stormed the ACE and OAUSTECH and attempted to force students to endorse Governor Akeredolu.
A source disclosed that leader of the group got infuriated by the resistance of the students and moved in thugs, who unleashed mayhem on the students.
Confirming the incident, Okunomo Damilola, President, Students Union Government in OAUSTECH, said the group arrived at the gate of the campus to distribute some items and asked few students on campus to support Governor Akeredolu’s second term bid by taking photograph with them.
He said, “But we told him (Akeredolu) and his members that we could not do that. We said if we did that, it means we are satisfied with the present situation in our campuses.
“Governor Rotimi Akeredolu reviewed upward our tuition to N200, 000 as engineering students and we don’t have enough lecturers, no power supply on our campus, lecture rooms are not enough, no laboratories.
“Now, some group of people are coming to us because of their selfish interest and personal gains to coerce us to support the same governor who made education costly for us for another four years.
“When we declared to them that we can’t support the governor, they attacked a few of us on campus with their thugs.
“They snatched and destroyed phones of some of us who were taking photographs and recording their violent activities at our school gate.”
When contacted by SaharaReporters, Akeredolu confirmed visiting the schools for the endorsement of the governor but denied attacking students of the two institutions for refusing to support for the governor.
Akeredolu explained that his group was touring campuses in the state to distribute palliatives to students, who were still on campus and couldn’t travel back home as a result of COVID-19 and the lockdown.
He added that he and members of his group had earlier visited the Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko and
the College of Health Technology, Akure, to promote the second term ambition of Governor Akeredolu without any issue.
Reacting, the National Association of Nigerian Students Joint Campus Committee, Ondo State Chairman, Akinteye Babatunde, and Adekunle Oluwatayo, Director of Media and Publicity, called on the Commissioner of Police, Bolaji Salami, to order the arrest of the leader of the group, who attacked students.