The management of Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ogun State, has said that a suspected cult group incited the students of the institution against the host community in the Imaweje area of the state.
This is just as the institution’s Senate had summoned an emergency meeting on the matter for Tuesday (today).
This is following the clash that ensued between the students and the Imawaje residents on Sunday, which claimed the life of a student and during which the house of the community leader and others were burnt.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the incident to PUNCH Metro on Sunday.
The school management, in a statement on Monday by the institution’s Public Relations Officer, O. A. Odubela, A.O, noted that the community had allegedly been experiencing nefarious activities such as rape and snatching of phones by some unidentified persons.
The PRO stated, “The university management received reports of a clash between some unknown persons suspected to be cultists and some members of the Imaweje Community.
“The Imaweje Community has allegedly been experiencing nefarious activities by some unidentified persons such as rape, snatching of phones, etc, particularly late in the evenings and at night in particular.
“To safeguard lives and properties, the Iwameje Community and other host communities set up a vigilante outfit to curb all incidents of rape, snatching of phones, and most importantly cultism.”
She stated that according to information at the disposal of the university, the community, to end the nefarious activities, intensified their efforts through the community vigilante.
“This did not go down well with this unidentified group which subsequently attacked the Baale’s son,” she added.
The PRO stated that the community intensified their efforts to patrol the area and on Friday, May 26, 2023, around midnight, an arrest was made.
She added, “Upon searching the alleged suspect’s residence, various weapons were said to have been discovered in his possession.
“In the course of the interrogation, the suspect gave up the ghost. The suspect has since been identified as a 300-Level student of the university.
“In a reprisal attack, suspected members of his group, upon learning of his death, incited the student populace, thus turning the issue into a ‘student versus community clash.’”
She added that this led to the burning of the house of the Baale and two other chiefs in the community and the subsequent decision of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwole Banjo, to shut down the campus.
According to her, the Senate of the university will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday (today).
“The management of the university has already contacted the Nigeria Police and other security agencies to investigate the incident and ensure the restoration of peace and order,” she added.
When contacted, the institution Students’ Union Government President-elect, Akinjetan Emmanuel, who said he was only speaking as a student because he had not been inaugurated, urged the students to vacate the university environment for now.
“It was a crisis between the community and (some) unknown persons.
“I’m speaking as a student. Health is wealth, if we have sound health, that is when we can further our education. The student should vacate the environment because we don’t know what will happen (even) in 10 minutes,” the President-elect said, urging fellow students to move to a safer place.
The police spokesman in the state, when contacted for an update on the investigation, could not immediately provide details as he said the command was still busy with the ongoing inauguration activities in the state.