Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi has ordered the Police to conduct a thorough investigation into last Tuesday’s protest in Oye-Ekiti and fish out culprits.
Two students of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti- (FUOYE) – Joseph Okonofua and Kehinde Dada— were killed in the violent protest by students against poor power supply in the community.
Dr. Fayemi, in a broadcast, on Sunday, described the killing of the two students as a major tragedy.
According to him, any shooting arising from legitimate protest is a dent on the nation’s democracy and “calls to question our commitment to fundamental human rights.”
Recalling that he had suggested to the police authorities to explore the use of non-lethal rubber bullets in managing public protests, Fayemi said the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) will take the issue up at the highest levels in government.
The governor said the various statements by the university authorities and the students’ union had shown that the shooting was not ordered by the wife of the governor, nor any official of the state government.
Fayemi said: “To be sure, our government prides itself on its strict adherence to the rule of law. The right of citizens to protest on any issue relating to governmental actions or inactions is a fundamental component of our good governance agenda.
“We could not therefore under any circumstances have directed that deadly force be used on any of our citizens freely expressing their right to protest.
“Even before the conclusion of the investigations into this matter, we have taken a number of steps; a high level government delegation has visited the families of the deceased.
“This will not be a one-off intervention. We will stand firmly with, and support the families at this time. Those persons with varying degrees of injuries will also be given support whilst their hospital expenses will be defrayed by government.”