Authorities of the Bowen University, Iwo, yesterday shut down the institution and ordered the students to vacate the campus immediately following a student disturbance on Wednesday over alleged incessant power outage and epileptic water supply.
The students had gone on rampage at about 8.30pm on Wednesday to protest poor power and water supply, which, they complained had resulted in personal hardship in the past few weeks.
The protest, however, turned violent with reports of damage to school property and looting of some traders’ shops and facilities, forcing the authorities to invite the police that eventually quelled the riot.
Ten of the rioters were arrested by the police for alleged looting.
But, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Matthew Ojo, in an interview with Daily Sun, gave a different version of the incident.
According to him, the immediate cause of the demonstration was the disruption of the viewing of a European League match on TV by some of the students in one of the male hostels, due to an electrical fault on Wednesday night.
This reportedly angered the spectators, who trooped out and started demonstrating.
The Vice Chancellor denied that there was ever inadequate power supply on campus, disclosing that the management provide at least 13-hours supply on standby generator on daily basis.
He equally said there were 20 functional boreholes, located around the campus, with water running 24 hours in two of the halls of residence (new male and female hostels), while water was pumped to other critical areas at least for six hours a day.
Justifying the closure of the school and a 10-day forced break for the students, Prof Ojo said this became imperative due to their recalcitrant attitude to allow peace and order to reign.
“They are pressing for the release of their colleagues who were arrested by the police for breaking into other people’s shops and looting under the guise of the riot a condition to stop fomenting trouble.
“As management, we have undertaken to go and bail them, but, this is a criminal matter that the police have a right to handle their own way and there can’t be dictating to law enforcement agency. So, we have asked them to go home for a 10 day-break and come back,” he said.
The Baptist-owned university resumed session barely three and half weeks ago. Semester examinations are not however, due until May 29, it was learnt.