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Kwara: Gunshots as students attack police station over NDLEA, EFCC raids

A policeman was injured as some aggrieved students of the Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, attacked the divisional police station in the town. The action…

A policeman was injured as some aggrieved students of the Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, attacked the divisional police station in the town.

The action of the students, it was gathered, followed persistent raids by operatives of the NDLEA and EFCC over drug and cyber fraud related activities.

Several viral videos of the incident seen by our correspondent showed students running for safety.

EFCC operatives had conducted a sting operation in the school community on Wednesday where 48 students and two others were arrested.

The NDLEA further raided the school community 24 hours later to also arrest some of the students, a development that was resisted, leading to the fracas.

Some of the students took to several social media platforms to express their worries and apprehension over the situation.

They also reportedly stormed the school gate to protest the act and the arrest of their colleagues.

According to a tweet from an X user (@babyygirlfl0), “EFCC came to raid in the middle of the night, two days ago, and arrested over 30 students. NDLEA came in today to do the same. Students tried to stop them, but they joined forces with the police and started throwing teargas at students. They even started shooting guns, as I saw with my own eyes.

“One student is dead; another is fighting for her life! Helppppp! Tag all the handles that can help, please! The network here is really bad. I’m so scared, man. Gunshots and teargas everywhere.”

Another user with the handle @thatgoodbae posted, “This school is a mess, mahn!! I don’t tyre!! Because, in God’s name, is the EFCC supposed to shoot at a student’s car??? Come to raid at 2am??? Taking students that have exams in the morning???”

The university registrar, Dr Kikelomo W. Sallee, confirmed the development in a statement on Friday, but said peace had been restored to the area.

“Following the unrest that broke out on Thursday evening in Malete, the management of Kwara State University wishes to inform all students and staff of KWASU that peace has been restored to the Malete community. We therefore urge all to remain calm and lawful.”

“We also wish to state that contrary to reports on social media, no one was shot and no lives were lost in the unrest.

“Management has been liaising with and will meet with the EFCC and NDLEA on the arbitrary sting operations on our student body.

“Management does not condone rough handling of bona fide students of our great university, and we urge our dear students to uphold the peaceful and orderly conduct for which our great KWASU is known”, she added.

On his part, state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Toun Ejire-Adeyemi, confirmed that a policeman was injured in the melee.

According to her, “the students attacked police stations in the community, destroyed valuable property, and injured policemen.

“They (students) gathered at about 4:00 on Thursday over “grievances related to the recent raids on black spots around the school premises by operatives of NDLEA.

“Students living off-campus expressed their dissent and marched from various parts of the town to Okoru Junction, close to Malete Police Division, carrying placards with various inscriptions, such as “Say No to NDLEA.”

“Efforts were made to engage with the students, persuading them to return to their respective hostels and maintain peace.

“In the process, they encountered a white Toyota Hilux vehicle with registration number Lagos AGL 574 HZ, occupied by four armed policemen from Ila-orangun led by Inspr Ibrahim Ali and three others on an official assignment to Malete.

“They were mistaken for operatives of drug law enforcement agents. Consequently, the students chased them to Malete Divisional Police Headquarters, where the students began to throw stones into the police station.

“Regrettably, this led to some damage to the rooftop of the mosque and the windscreen of vehicles parked in the station. The policemen fired tear gas canisters to disperse the violent crowd and prevent further damage at the police station.

“Additionally, one police officer, PC Fayemi Kehinde, sustained minor injuries as a result of the stones thrown at the police station. He was given first-aid treatment at the hospital and discharged.

“Meanwhile, the DPO Shao Division and three other tactical teams are presently on the ground to support the efforts in de-escalating the situation.

“The CP urged all students of KWASU involved in this act to exercise some restraints and work towards resolving issues through peaceful dialogue”, Toun, a DSP added.

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