FUOYE: Academic activities stalled after student’s death

ACADEMIC activities have remained on hold at the Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) in Ekiti state following the death of a 200-level Nursing student, Atanda Modupe Deborah.

Some students who spoke to The ICIR said the university was closed following the incident, and there had been no information on when it would be reopened.

“School activities are on hold for now. The school has been closed till further notice. The majority of the students have returned to their houses, and the school remains closed,” a student of the school, Uchenna Okon, told The ICIR.

Another 200-level student, identified as Glory, confirmed the school closure and said she left the school premises due to the anxiety that followed the incident.

Late Atanda was declared missing on Tuesday, September 5. She was later found dead and buried in a shallow grave on the school premises two days later.

Ekiti State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Sunday Abutu disclosed that investigations had commenced into the cause of her death, and the body was deposited at a morgue for autopsy.

The university management also confirmed her death in a statement on September 5 and appealed to students to remain calm amid ongoing efforts to apprehend the killers.

While most students were on holiday during the incident, Atanda was one of FUOYE’s Stream A students who, due to the disruptions in studies caused by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike actions over unmet demands by the Federal Government, were required to remain on campus during the break.

Her death has, again, disrupted learning activities for the students.

Although there were reports that the deceased’s eyes were plucked out, a statement by the leadership of the university’s student union noted that the corpse was not mutilated.

Many Nigerians have reacted to the incident, including members of the House of Representatives, who condemned the killing.

In a statement by the Spokesperson of the House, Akin Rotimi, the legislators called on security operatives and the Ekiti State Government to ensure that Atanda’s killers are apprehended and punished.

“It’s a very dastardly act and a sad one. There is what we call a safe space where such should never happen, and the school environment is one of them. It’s a very sad development and worrisome. We would ensure that Modupe Atanda gets justice and perpetrators are brought to book. I condemn it, and it’s deeply distressing and sad,” Rotimi noted.

Days after the deceased’s body was found, the police announced that ten suspects had been arrested in connection to the death.

Like Atanda, many other students have been found dead in other universities nationwide.

On February 22, a 300-level student of Benue State University, Dooshima Naomi Erekaa, was found dead and buried in a shallow grave a few days after being declared missing.

The Benue State Police Command arrested one suspect in connection to the murder a week later.

In June, a 20-year-old student of the Federal University, Wukari, Taraba state, Mark Shagari, was stabbed to death by suspected cultists.

Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via vopara@icirnigeria.org or @ije_le on Twitter.

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