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N1m Protest Splits NAOSS

N1m Protest Splits NAOSS
  • PublishedFebruary 18, 2022


Ismaeel Uthman

CRISIS has engulfed the National Association of Osun State Students (NAOSS), following the alleged receipt of a sum of N1m from the State Government to protest against the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Osun Command.

OSUN DEFENDER gathered that some executives of NAOSS have been asking questions from the National President of the association, Yusuf Agboola, on how he managed the N1m and why he did not disclose to them that he received money from the government for the protest.

It would be recalled that Agboola had on Tuesday led some students to the command headquarters of the NSCDC in Osogbo to protest the alleged shooting by its officers during the visit of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.

 The NSCDC officers and other security aides of Aregbesola had repelled an attack on him by political hoodlums at Orisunmibare market, Osogbo, on Monday. 

According to report, the gun-wielding political hoodlums waylaid Aregbesola’s convoy and started shooting sporadically on sighting the Minister standing on his open roof vehicle and waiving at a mammoth crowd who were hailing and jubilating at seeing their former governor.

Jubilant residents who were following Aregbesola scampered for safety to escape being hit by stray bullet.

A team of combined security operatives from the NSCDC, Nigeria Immigration Service and Department of State Security, who were among Aregbesola’s convoy, stepped down from the vehicles and started shooting in a bid to scare away the armed thugs.

For about twenty minutes, Old Garage Area was thrown into panic as traders and road users ran helter-skelter as a result of resounding gunshots from the thugs and security operatives.

The development generated reactions from members of the public who condemned the attack on the minister.

Few hours after the attack, the leadership of NAOSS issued a press release where it singled-out the NSCDC for condemnation on the shootout. The student also lashed out at Aregbesola in the release.

But some executives of the student body, among who are the Vice President III, Kafayat Bakare and National Treasurer, Taiwo Adedapo, dissociated themselves from the release, saying that it was irrational and partisan. 

In a separate message sent to their colleagues, Bakare and Adedapo said: “Dear NAOSITES, please note, the release from the NAOSS national headquarters as regard the issue between the immediate ex-governor and the incumbent is not a decision reached by all executive members of NAOSS. 

“Such release emanated from only some set of individuals in their selfish way of doing things. I remain committed to the general wellbeing of students and their interest shall always be my priority. 

“I am never a part of irrational, faulty and partisan statement.”

However, the NAOSS president led some members of the association on a protest to the NSCDC headquarters in Osogbo on Tuesday. 

The protest, according to a civil society group, Osun Concerned Citizens (OCC), was sponsored by the state government.

According to the group, NAOSS leadership was procured to stage the protest by the government through a Senior Special Assistant to the Governor, saying that the demonstration against the NSCDC was politically motivated.

The group in a press statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, Afeez Olakunle, said it was unfortunate that the state government is dragging students into the internal crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

It noted that the action of the students is nothing but a show of shame and display of condemnable partisanship.

The statement reads in part: “It is a shame that NAOSS, a supposed intellectual body of students, could sell itself so cheap to accept a sum of N1m from the state government to protest against the NSCDC in the state.

“There is no sincerity in the NAOSS protest. It was a show of shame. It is unfortunate that the state government is dragging students into the internal crisis rocking the APC.”

But Agboola denied receiving money from the government for the protest, asking the group to prove its allegation by providing evidence. 

Following the release of the OCC, OSUN DEFENDER gathered that some NOASS executives have waged war against the president, Agboola, asking him to account for the reported N1m. 

The medium gathered that some ‘NAOSS stakeholders’ have stepped into the matter to prevail on the aggrieved members in order not to make the issue a public matter.

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