Balogun Olamide AKA Lammy – the Vice President of the FUNAAB Student Union has lamented the role of the mainstream media in the FUNAABSU protest that turned sour on 18th of August, 2016.
Speaking alongside Popoola AKA Da Silva – the Public Relations Officer of the Association of Soil Science and Land Management Students in an exclusive interview with “Uncle Wale Popo and Iya Jogbo” on Monday, 29th of August, 2016 on the popular Wetin Dey Radio Show on Radio Continental 102.3FM, Lagos, the duo singled out the Daily Sun Newspaper for their caption of the whole story debunking the claims that students shut down Abeokuta, burnt churches and other buildings on the day.
Mr Oyeyemi Abimbola – the Police Public Relations Officer for the Ogun State Division also called in to explain the police’s side of his story.
Mr Oyeyemi who claimed to be an eye-witness said that the students from onset were set up to disrupt public peace by inhibiting traffic on the Federal Abeokuta-Ibadan Express Road which he felt gave room to some miscreants and hoodlums to hijack the protest which was up till that point without violence and in the interest of public peace, the police had to do their duty of dispersing the riotous group.
The Police PRO however maintained that no live ammunition was fired at the scene instead tear gases were used to disperse the group. He went on to disconnect the police from the case of a Taiwo Abisoye that is alleged to have been shot by the Police asserting that “if truly he were shot at the spot they claim he was shot; he couldn’t have survived it by any means. It was no gun shot, it was most likely a stone thrown by one of his colleagues during the assault on the Police, we also have two of our officers injured”.
The student representatives on the contrary countered the claims of the Police PRO insisting they have medical reports to back up their claims and the student had to undergo two major emergency neurosurgical operations on the eyes and on the brain, asking how possible it was for a stone to do as much a damage as it has done on Taiwo.
Lammy reiterated the demands of the students on safety, the health and scholarship of the victim and urged the public to keep on praying for Taiwo as responses from his twin brother only claims he is ‘stable and responding to treatment’.
In a heated ‘phone-in’, ‘tweet-in’, ‘text-in’ and ‘skype-in’ session, the presenters were unable to read most of the contributions as they contained derogatory words against the Nigeria Police Force which were unethical on air.
The presenters and phone-line contributors urged the students to always tread on the side of caution during protests while incorporating the Police along every line of action.
Okegbemi Olusoji Festus is an Editor/Creative writer at campustori.com, A digital media Executive and a known Social Media Enthusiast.