There was commotion on Thursday morning at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, as academic programmes were grounded, while movements were restricted.
The development was as a result of a protest by the students of the institution, who were expressing their displeasure at an attack on a student by suspected cult members on Wednesday night.
Some policemen, who attempted entering the campus to quell the unrest, were turned back at the gate by the students, who held everyone within the campus hostage for hours.
When our correspondent visited the campus, he observed that two fully loaded staff buses were prevented from entering the institution.
It was learnt that a clash between the cultist and some students the previous night had kept everybody awake.
A source in the Department of Mass Communication explained that the clash started after an unnamed student was attacked by some cult members with machetes and was wounded.
Our correspondent learnt that the student had a misunderstanding with a suspected cult member.
Another source who pleaded anonymity said, “The student had ignored the cult member when that one told him to do something for him. He was later beaten, clubbed and cut with matchetes.
“Somebody alerted the victim’s friends and they also came out and faced the cult members.”
It was said that in the Wednesday rampage, security men on the campus were assaulted, while some school facilities were damaged.
On Thursday, the students took over the gates of the school and chased away security men to protest the Wednesday night attack.
One of the students at the gate told PUNCH Metro that the security men guarding the campus had failed in their duties.
He said,”Two weeks ago, they (the cultists) stormed the Art Block and wreaked havoc while our security men were merely watching. So the students decided to take over the security of the school.”
It was observed that a few of the security men had changed into mufti, while some of the students who tried to record the riot with their camera phones were assaulted.
The school’s major road was also barricaded. The students said they were awaiting the Rector to give an address on the way forward.
Later, the Dean of Students Affairs, Mr. Omobayo Raheem, addressed the warring youths, urging them to calm down.
He said, “Like many of you, I have not been able to sleep as a result of this development. I apologise to every one of us as a result of the injury one of us sustained. There is no doubt that injury to one is injury to all.
“I can assure you that the management has set up a high-powered panel to look into this and none of the culprits will go unpunished be they students or lecturers.”
He said the wounded student was being treated at the school’s medical centre.
The Rector, Dr. Kudirat Ladipo, later came to address the protesters. She capped her address with a prayer for peace on the campus.