Social activities were paralysed in Owo town, Ondo State on Sunday following a bloody clash between the students of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo and men of the state police command.
According to an eyewitness, many people were injured while several vehicles were destroyed during the clash.
A student of the institution whose identity could not be confirmed as of press time was also allegedly shot by the police.
It was gathered that trouble started when a police patrol van hit some students of the institution and the policemen in the vehicle allegedly abandoned the student and ran away.
The development was said to have led the students to protest to the ‘B’ Division Police Station at Otapete area of the town.
It was also alleged that the policemen at the station, instead of attending to the protesting students, fired tear gas to disperse them. The action of the police reportedly angered the students, who destroyed vehicles parked inside the station with one of the students being shot.
The protesting students barricaded the Owo/Akure expressway, causing a gridlock that lasted for several hours.
Many areas in the town were also blocked as the students set up bonfires in many places, preventing residents from going out.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Femi Joseph, said the students attacked and injured the Divisional Police Officer. He said the DPO was in a critical condition at the hospital.
Joseph said the students also attacked the police officers who were on duty when they stormed the station, adding that the students vandalised the parked vehicles inside the station despite the DPO’s call for calm.
He said, “The police vehicle that hit the students was not deliberate and it was a total lie that the driver abandoned the students because he immediately took the victims to a hospital and they are currently receiving treatment.”
The Vice President of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Mr. Timileyin Ayenuro, called for the immediate removal of the DPO of ‘B’ Division Police Station for allegedly fuelling the crisis.
He explained that the students expected an apology from the police.
He also demanded the immediate release of the arrested students and warned the police to stop harassing the students of the institution.