Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the governor of Osun State and his deputy Mrs. Grace Titi-Laoye Tomori were on Tuesday prevented from going to their offices by the angry students in the tertiary institutions who were protesting alleged non-payment of their bursary allowances. The students had turned up in their thousands at the state government Secretariat, on Ibadan Expressway in Osogbo, as early as 10a.m. and barricaded all entrances leading to the Secretariat and held Aregbesola and his deputy hostage for over an hour while chanting war songs to drive home their demands.
At about noon, while the governor was on his way to the office, the protesting students demanded that he should alight from his car and address them, but their request fell on the deaf ears of the governor who pleaded with the protesters to dialogue with him in his office. Aregbesola’s pleas for him to be allowed to enter the Secretariat did not go down well with the students who started booing the governor and his deputy and made uncomplimentary remarks about them.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Kalafite Adeyemi had also appealed to the angry students to allow Aregbesola address them in his office, but the protesters stood their ground. Amidst the unending uproar, thestudents barricaded the deputy governor’s convoy and forced her to alight from her car. She, however, trekked down backward for about five minutes for fear of being harassed by the angry protesters and joined Aregbesola, who was at a stone-throw behind her in his car.
Aregbesola’s convoy had eventually zoomed off while the protesters continued chasing and stoning the governor. There was panic, however, when the security men attached to Aregbesola started firing their gunshots sporadically into thin air apparently to scare away the students.
According to the chairman, Joint Campus Committee (JCC), Olaore Naheem, who spoke on behalf of the protesting students, “We, the students of Osun State in all the tertiary institutions have not collected our bursaryof N10,000 as earlier announced by Aregbesola… Our schools are in a state of decay but unfortunately, Aregbesola is gallivanting around with the state resources. About two years that Aregbesola regained his mandate as the governor of the state, he has remained incommunicado with the yearnings of the people of the state especially in the area of education”.