Excited students of tertiary institutions in Ekiti State and other youths yesterday shut down Ado-Ekiti, capital of the state, to rally support for Governor Ayodele Fayose for having the courage to sign into Law on Monday,a bill handing out death sentence to students found guilty of being involved in cultism on campus.
Governor Fayose had, in reaction to recent massacre of two students of the Ekiti State University, (EKSU), sponsored a bill for death penalty to student cultists found in the state.
Staging a rally to identify with the governor and to publicly declare their support for the Law, students in the tertiary institutions in the state which include Ekiti State University, College of Education, Ikere, College of Health Science and Technology, Ijero-Ekiti and Federal Polythenic, Ado-Ekiti and others, trooped out in hundreds and carried placards with several inscriptions that expressed their support for governor’s Fayose’s signing into Law, the anti-cultism bill and the anti-grazing Law.
At about noon, they marched from the Fajuyi park in Ado-Ekiti, state capital, towards the Deputy Governor’s office chanting solidarity songs in praise of the governor and displaying their placards. Some of the inscriptions on the placards read in part: “we Comment Governor Fayose ‘s anti-cultism Law”, Governor Fayose, Thanks for Saving our lives’, “Cultismis evil, let us stop it in Ekiti, and ‘Governor Fayose, we love you,among others.”
Addressing the Deputy Governor of Ekiti, Kolapo Olusola who received the students on behalf of the governor, Comrade Adewunmi Idowu, National President, Federation of Ekiti State Students, spoke on behalf of the students and their leaders from respective campuses.
“We are here today to commend the unwavering effort of the governor of Ekiti in combating acts of terrorism by signing into Law the anti-grazing bill to save the farmers from menacing herdsmen and also for combating acts of cultism and wanton killings by signing into law bill giving out death penalty to student cultists.
“By taking this courageous step,the governor has saved the lives of millions of youths and students in Ekiti and we commend him greatly for this. We also appreciate the Deputy Governor for identifying with us and for your fatherly care and we hope this kind gesture shall continue.”
Speaking in the same vein, Comrade Owolabi Temitayo Alexandra, Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS)Joint Campus Committee, Ekiti State axis, who also identified himself as the grand commander of all Aluta forces in Ekiti, said: ” we are here to appreciate and soldarize with the Ekiti State government as we all know that the safety of lives and property is at the heart of our amiable governor.
From our own constituency , we give our strong support for the governor in this development.” Responding, Olusola commended the students for their support for the various laws passed by the government to safeguard the lives and property in the state. He noted that the anti-grazing Law which was initially condemned by some eminent Nigerians is currently being adopted by some state governments and expressed hope that the anti-cultism Law would also enjoy same support.
Urging them to spread the awareness of the death penalty law against cultism to all their campuses, mobilise against cultism in all the campuses, he charged them to report any cultist on campuses to the school authorities who would wade in and apprehend the culprit for prosecution.
Olusola said: “When I was a lecturer in Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun, State, I recalled how gruesome, Africa, a very vibrant student union leader, was murdered by cultists on the campus. It was so painful that the entire body of students on campus jointly waged war against cultism on the OAU campus then and that has resulted into a situation whereby cultism has remained as good as dead on the OAU campus till today.
So, you can do it. Of what use is a group of people, maiming and killing innocents lives? Destroying great destinies? Imagine what happened on the campus of Ekiti State university recently. Who knows whether those who were murdered before their time, would become leaders of our country tomorrow.
No serious leader would fold his arms and allow such to continue, that is why the governor has signed this anti-cultism bill into law. So that whoever is killing would know that he also has to die. We must not fold our arms and allow a few people to destroy lives and the peace in our campuses. This issue of cultism embraces a whole lot of other unwholesome evils, such as rape, intimidation and drug abuse and all that, ” he said.