Two students of Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, have been allegedly killed by stray bullets of Police detectives from the Special Tactical Squad (STS) FIB, Abuja, who stormed the institution on Saturday morning to arrest suspected student cultists in their hostel.
Consequently, scores of protesters comprising students of Kwara state Polytechnic and residents of the neighbouring school Junction and the surrounding villages stormed the streets of Ilorin to protest the attack.
The police team was said to have been to the Polytechnic area on the trail of student cultists who went and killed a student of Kwara state university, Malete on Friday and four suspected cultists were arrested.
The protesters from Polytechnic Junction took to Zango, area and Maraba down to Challenge on their way to the government house at the time of filing this report.
Shops and offices around the Kwara Polytechnic Junction were under lock as business, economic and social activities around the areas were completely paralysed.
Vanguard gathered that two of the victims of stray bullets died immediately while the other one was rushed to the nearby private hospital.
Vanguard however gathered from some students that the operation was carried out by officers of National Drug Law Enforcement Area who went to arrest Yahoo students involved in illicit drug usage.
Soldiers were also seen at the junction of the school gate pacifying the protesting students to allow peace to reign.
Efforts to get the reaction of the office of NDLEA in the state at press time proved abortive, while credible sources in the office of the zonal office of EFCC said the operation was not effected by officers from the commission.
Vanguard reliably gathered that the security operatives stormed the area Saturday morning to arrest suspected cult students who are involved in illicit drug usage
The suspected students on a tip-off reportedly took to their heels and the security officers pursued them.
While efforts to arrest them appeared failing the security officers reportedly fired gunshots at them but hit three residents and missed the targets.
The state police command which reportedly drafted anti-riot police officers to return calm to the areas however confirmed the development.
According to the statement issued by the police spokesman, Ajayi Okasanmi, “Kwara State Police Command wishes to allay the fears agitating the minds of the general public, especially residents around Kwara State Polytechnic area, that the pandemonium experienced today within the area arose as a result of the attack unleashed on a team of Police detectives from the Special Tactical Squad (STS) FIB, Abuja, who came on the trail of some cultists in the area.
“Recall that, cultists attacked and killed a student of Kwara State University, Malete yesterday 28/1/2022. Four of the cultists were arrested and dangerous weapons were recoverd from the suspects.
“Information available to the STS team indicated that some of the cultists were hiding at Lajolo area of Kwara Polytechnic Ilorin, where similar attack was unleashed on one student named Idris Aderemi by same cultists at about 0600hrs today 29/1/22, in the same area.
” This prompted the visit to the area by the STS team. Surprisingly, the cultists who were already in ambush, attacked the police team damaging the police Hummer bus and inflicting a gunshot injury on the head of one police Sergeant, Adebayo Abdulahi attached to the STS team.
“In the ensuing imbroglio, students in their numbers came out to block the road and prevented free flow of traffic and burning tyres on the road.
“The Commissioner of Police Kwara State, CP Tuesday Assayomo psc (+) immediately dispatched teams of Policemen to the area to restore peace.
“However, two cultists, one Ahmed ‘m’ surname unknown and one Musibau ‘m’ A.K.A Shaban were arrested with one fabricated English pistol with 3 live ammunition, 2 live cartridges and one pistol magazine. The injured policeman and the suspects have been taken to the hospital for treatment
“The commissioner of police wishes to advise members of the Public to go about their lawful businesses without any fear of attack or intimidation; calm has been totally restored in the affected area, while Policemen are on standby to forestall any further act of lawlessness from any quarters.”
Meanwhile, the Polytechnic authorities have described their students as law-abiding in a statement issued by the spokesman, Abdulkadir Yunus.
The statement reads, “Attention of Kwara State Polytechnic authority has been drawn to the misinformation making round in some quarters that the Polytechnic Campus is under siege by students protest.
“It is pertinent to clear the air that the Polytechnic Students are law-abiding citizens and will not indulge in any illegal activity that will disrupt their academic careers.
“Meanwhile, the incident that occurred at Lajolo community early this morning was between the Police and Lajolo community and has nothing to do with the Polytechnic Students or the Campus, as first semester CBT examinations are going on right now in the Campus without any disturbance.
“However, the management of the Polytechnic has magnanimously accepted the plea of the students who could not make it to the campus before the blockage at Oyun, to rescheduling their examinations on another date to be communicated to them via their heads of the department.”