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3 shot, vehicles vandalised as police, students clash in Owo

Three students of the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo (RUGIPO), Ondo State, were allegedly shot while several others were also injured on Sunday during a clash between the students and men of the state police command in Owo. Also, no fewer than 10 vehicles were vandalised during the fracas, which broke out between the students and men of the Police Force in the ancient town on Sunday morning. It was gathered that the students went on rampage after a Police Officer who allegedly hit two students of the institution within the town ran away, abandoning the seriously injured students to their fate.

According to an eye witness, some of the students took the injured victims to the nearest hospital for treatment, while others mobilised themselves and headed to the B Division of the Police station at Otapete in Owo, protesting against the treatment against their colleagues by the police officer. He however said the students were dispersed by the policemen on duty with teargas while three of the students were alleged to have been hit with bullets. He said: “The police shot sporadically into the air and three of the students were badly hit with the bullets. This angered the students regrouped themselves and started destroying the vehicles parked within the premises of the station after taken the injured students to the hospital.”

The protesting students, who blocked all the major roads leading to the town, also blocked the Akure/ Owo expressway, causing traffic gridlock on the ever busy road for over three hours and threatened not to vacate the roads until the police command produce the officer who shot the three students. The eye witness however said it took the intervention of the policemen from the state capital, Akure, to disperse the protesting students and cleared the road to allow easy flow of traffic saying, “the police had to station their Armoured Personnel Carrier at the entrance of the school for peace to reign in the area.”

Confirming the development, the Polytechnic Information Protocol and Public Relations Unit (IPPPR), Olumide Olugosi, said some of the students were shot and injured during the clash, saying no death was recorded during the protest. He explained that one of the injured students has been referred to Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, in Ile-Ife, Osun State for treatments and confirmed that the three other students shot during the ugly incident were receiving treatment at Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owo.

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