© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Four months after first demonstration, FUOYE students protest again over lack of power
By DANIEL Whyte
STUDENTS of the Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), in Ekiti State on Tuesday again took to the street to protest the continuous lack of power supply which plagues the institution’s host communities, Oye-Ekiti and Ikole Ekiti.
A similar protest that took place on April 24 led to the temporary closure of the community’s electricity distribution office and blocking of the federal highway that runs through Oye-Ekiti and connects to Abuja.
Not seeing any changes after their first protest, the aggrieved students decided to demonstrate again on both of the university’s campuses till “a notable government official” attends to their request, said the Students’ Union Government (SUG) president, Oluwaseun Awodola.
Addressing the students, Awodola described the protest as “confrontational”. He lamented that the students suffer as a result of frequent and long-term power outages which make them vulnerable to deadly attacks in the night while searching for where to charge their gadgets.
“The generality of Oye is suffering from poor power supply…our students are being molested in the night; our students are being gang-robbed in the night because we don’t have light,” the student leader said.
“Everywhere in FUOYE is dark. Our students keep charging at filling stations; if there is any deadly accident, more than 50 students will be gone. We don’t want mass death in FUOYE; what we want is stable power supply.”
Traffic on the federal highway in Oye-Ekiti was for hours, been at a standstill due to the students’ protest.
Speaking to this reporter, Adeyemo Tobi, a student of the university, said, “What we are really fighting for is good…when we check our result we see D, F, C… it is not good enough. If we have light we will be able to read a lot and pass excellently.”
Emmanuel Ayoadewole, a third-year student of Mass Communication, described the protest as a “good move”.
“That way, we are expressing our grievance and not being riotous. That way, the government will hear our cry because if we don’t come out like this, if we don’t do it this way, they won’t listen to us,” he said.
“Several times we have attempted protesting like this and, at the end of it, it yields to nothing; so this time, we are coming with a full force to tell them this is what we want.”
“It is not that we are trying to cause a riot,” he added, “but we are trying to make it public…to tell the government that we can’t continue like this.”
Speaking to reporters, the Public Relations Officer of the University, Godfrey Bakji, described the protest as “senseless”.
He said the students union ought to allow other activities to go on since the university isn’t in charge of power.
“You don’t disturb the university activities because you want to cry out to the government,” he said, adding that he hopes the protest “will yield results”.
Below are other photos from the demonstration