Poly Students Go Berserk Over Union Elections

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Scores of students were reportedly injured on Thursday in a fracas that ensued at the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, during the students’ union election.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that trouble erupted over an unresolved crisis over the choice of candidate for the office of the students’ union president.

It was learnt that some aggrieved students, who queued behind their own candidates, allegedly tried to stop other students from voting for other candidates.

NAN gathered that the candidates for the office were Messrs. Abioye Oyewole, Akingbola Adesina and Fatia Bashir who failed to agree on the selection of a consensus candidate.

A witness told NAN that when it became clear that one of the candidates was emerging a winner, unidentified irate students disrupted the election.

The witness, who preferred anonymity, said that majority of the students were not happy about the development and became furious with the intruders.

“The disgruntled students started to destabilise the election when they knew that their candidates were losing out and they were bent on stopping the exercise.”

It was alleged that the rampaging students used dangerous weapons such as cutlasses, cudgels and stones to scare away some students and attack others, while several students were injured in the process.

An unconfirmed report indicated that one of the students, who fell while scampering for safety, allegedly died, following serious machete wounds on his body.

As at the time of this report, some anti-riot policemen had been deployed to the institution to restore law and order, even as some of the students have started fleeing the campus.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Solomon Olusegun, said that the police promptly responded to the chaotic situation to ensure that the crisis was “nipped in the bud.”

Commenting on the situation, Mr. Tope Abiola, the Media Relations Officer of the institution said the polytechnic’s authorities had ordered the immediate suspension of the election.

Abiola said that the polls’ suspension became imperative so as to restore normalcy, adding that all students’ union activities had also been suspended indefinitely in the interest of peace.

He, however, said that it was too early to ascertain the number of causalities recorded during the fracas because of ongoing efforts to quell the crisis.

Abiola, nonetheless, gave the assurance that the polytechnic’s administration had put in place adequate security measures to ensure the safety of lives and property in the institution.