The Ondo State Police Command has confirmed that it arrested on Wednesday, 46 students and market women who were protesting the hike in school fees of Ondo state-owned Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko, AAUA.
Speaking with SUNSHINE HERALD, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, in the state, Femi Joseph said the protesters were arrested around the Ondo state governor’s office in Alagbaka, Akure.
“Yes, some were arrested. I can confirm that,” he told our reporter on the phone.
The police image marker further said the protesters were arrested for blocking the road and trying to invade the governor’s office.
“They became unruly and were committing illegality by blocking the highway, by destroying government properties, by embarking on looting. Some of them, students, some of them non-students.
“We have always warned them to be very peaceful and not allow hoodlums to hijack their peaceful protest. We advised them to embrace dialogue, but they didn’t listen to us.
“So when we noticed that they were becoming unruly and they were taking their joke too far, we had no choice than to move in and stop them before they would cause more destruction.
” We made some arrests, like 12 of them, and like 34 of them were non students. We arrested about 34 non students and 12 students,” the police spokesman said.
He further noted that the students rejected entreaties to them by the Deputy Governor who addressed them on Monday, the first day of the protest, but allowed miscreants to hijack their” genuine agitation”.
“The deputy governor interacted with them few days ago when they started this protest, and he told them to be calm, that something will be done to assuage their feelings.
“But some of these students for reasons best known to them did not like to tow the part of dialogue. And when they took the matter to a ridiculous level this afternoon by trying to invade the governor’s office, simply because the governor said they should be let alone, they should be allowed to go ahead with their protests peacefully.
“No right thinking government, no right thinking policemen will allow that to happen, because their ranks have been infiltrated by hoodlums and miscreants.
Joseph said they will be charged to court upon completion of investigation.