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Ago-Iwoye crisis: Gov. Daniel slams community, students

Posted by Olayinka Oyebode, Sesan Olufowobi and Toyin Obadina (Abeokuta) on 2005/06/24 | Views: 314 |

Ago-Iwoye crisis: Gov. Daniel slams community, students


Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel on Friday took a swipe at the students of the Olabisi Onabanjo University and their hosts, the Ago-Iwoye community, for engaging in a bloody clash last week.

Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel on Friday took a swipe at the students of the Olabisi Onabanjo University and their hosts, the Ago-Iwoye community, for engaging in a bloody clash last week.

The governor, who expressed misgivings over the incident which reportedly claimed the lives of some students, also inaugurated a seven-member panel of inquiry to unravel the circumstances behind the mayhem.

The governor who spoke in Abeokuta while inaugurating the panel which had Major F. A. Keku (rtd) as chairman, said that both parties should have found a better way to manage the crisis.

Daniel said, “Without prejudice to the work of the fact-finding mission into the ugly incident, it is safe to say at this point that what happened in Ago- Iwoye last week was a failure of maturity and collapse of civility, neither of which portrays any of the parties to the conflict in positive light. Whilst government is not apportioning blame yet, recognising that there might be genuine grounds for grievances, we need to stress that the situation could have been better managed by all the parties involved.”

He went on, “It is incumbent on our students to learn to respect the norms, customs and practices of the communities in which their institutions are located,” adding, “Townspeople should take their guests as their own, mindful of the fact that their own children could one day also be similarly circumstanced in far-away lands. Also in responding to the challenges that academic institutions sometimes pose to the traditional customs and practices of host communities, townspeople should be mindful of the beneficial impact of these institutions for the communities.”

Daniel, who commended those he said had intervened in the crisis to stop the mayhem, stated that the panel was expected to get to the root of the crisis within one month and to also forestall a recurrence.

Responding, the panel chairman said the body would discharge its assignment properly.

Other members of the panel are Prof. Deji Adekunle, Otunba Kola Abdul, Mr. Ayoola Adekunle, Dr. Ebun Oduwole, Mr. Ismail Somefun while Ayo Koleade will serve as secretary.

At a separate briefing also in Abeokuta on Friday, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Afolabi Soyede, the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Tunji Alapini and the Vice President of the OOU students union, Miss Bola Onabanjo, jointly confirmed that only three students died in the mayhem, contrary to the earlier reported 38 casualties.

The vice-chancellor, who said he was out of the country during the crisis, stated that no fewer than four parents had notified the university authorities that they were yet to ascertain the whereabouts of their wards.

Saturday Punch, June 25, 2005

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