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Fayose brokers peace between Afe Babalola University founder, parents

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Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State at the weekend brokered peace between the founder and President of the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, ABUAD, Chief Afe Babalola SAN and the parents of some students indicted over the violence that rocked the institution ?about two weeks ago.

This is as the Pro-Chancellors of Private Universities have condemned the attack on the school’s property by the students.

A communique issued at the end of their meeting held at the auditorium of the National Universities’ Commission (NUC) in Abuja on February 11, reads in part: “The Pro-Chancellors of Private Universities have condemned the recent acts of vandalism at Afe Babalola University by students of University and expressed solidarity with the Founder, council and administration of the University. They endorsed the decision not to close down the University, but to flush out criminals who had destroyed critical infrastructure to face the Law.”

t would be recalled that some students of ABUAD went on the rampage penultimate Sunday over alleged high-handedness of some security men in the school.

However, the management of the institution blamed the incident on some lazy students who did not want to sit for their ongoing semester examinations.

Property of the school worth millions of naira were damaged during the violence and no fewer than 19 students were charged to court by the police for various offences.

Parents, whose wards and children have been remanded in prison custody on the orders of the court, had besieged the Government House, Ado-Ekiti, pleading with Governor Fayose to help them contact Chief Babalola for an amicable resolution of the matter.

The parents, led by Hon. Olaniyi Ogungbuji, said they had expected that their children and wards would be released by the court on Friday having agreed to some conditions set by Babalola.

Ogungbuji said none of the parents was happy with the violence that took place and the attendant destruction of properties, but would want a situation whereby the leadership of the institution would use internal mechanism to resolve the matter.

In his remarks, Governor Fayose said both Chief Babalola and his university were institutions that Ekiti people and government hold in high esteem.

His words, “We are proud of Aare Afe Babalola and the university that he set up here. The university is our heritage here in Ekiti and we are concerned with what goes on there. By the time you people called me late Thursday night, the case file was with the police and there was nothing the Director of Public Prosecution could rely on to advise the court on Friday, if he could do that.

“We must, however, discipline our children so as to save their future. I will get across to Baba and we will go and meet him on campus. One thing that I too will not agree to is that indicted students should not be punished. If Baba agrees that internal mechanism of the school be used to fish out the culprits, they must be punished to serve as deterrent to others,” he said.

When the Governor and the parents later met with Chief Babalola on the university campus, the renowned lawyer expressed delight at the interest Fayose has in the school.

“Your Excellency, I am really happy with your keen interest in this university and your intervention in the matter. I appreciate the honour you have done me. The management of the university has set up a panel to probe the incident and we are not opposed to internal mechanism to resolve the issue,” he said.

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