Abiodun Nejo, Ado Ekiti
Tears continued to flow on Friday at the residences of the parents of the two slain students of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Kehinde Dada and Joseph Okonofua, as friends, families and sympathizers gathered at the places at Usi Ekiti and Ido Ekiti respectively to condole with the parents.
The mother of 22-year-old Okonofua, Sergeant Esther Omolemen, wept with uncontrollably as sympathisers visited the family on Friday.
“I feel pains, deep pains in my heart. Those students were not meant to die. I am deeply pained. My heart is filled with pains. They killed him for me. They fired him and killed him,” she lamented amid tears.
The mother of two, who was left to mourn her elder son, said, “I suffered to bring the two of them up. I loved them. With the two of them, I am contented. I was happy, but now they have killed one. We want justice. They killed my beloved son. The son that cherished me! He called me sweet mother. They killed him.”
The police officer wished the wife of Ekiti State Governor, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, had not gone to Oye Ekiti that fateful day to avert the resultant tragedy, blaming the policemen for shooting at the proesters instead of using teargas.
The bereaved mother, described Okunofua as a brilliant son and peace-loving child, adding that he was well known in the school.
“His popular name was Joseph Icon. He was a comedian. He had a media concept where he used to act drama in the church and everywhere.
“He was the President of children in the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Ekiti State Province 3. He led children all along while he was in Notre Dam Grammar School, Usi Ekiti. He was senior prefect in secondary school. He had never made trouble with anyone,” she added.
Also, the parents of Kehinde Dada, 64-year-old Mr Emmanuel Dada and 61-year-old Mrs Mary Dada, could not believe that their beloved son was dead.
Their eldest son, Bankole Dada, who spoke on their behalf, described the death of his younger brother as “unfortunate.”
“It is very painful. We do not expect it,” he added.
Bankole said, “My parents were retirees and they are looking up to us as their tomorrow. The life of Kehinde was cut short. If he had been sick, it would have been another thing.
“We have contacted our family lawyer. We cannot just be looking at the situation like this. If this kind of thing is not stopped, it will still affect another family. We are taking a legal step. I believe the law will take its cause. I have put up a petition to the National Assembly and copied the state government.”
Meanwhile, the a state government delegation comprising the Secretary to the State Government, Biodun Oyebanji; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Biodun Omoleye; Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Moji Fafure;and Commissioner for Environment, Gbenga Agbeyo; among others, visited the two families on Friday.
The National Association of Nigerian Students called on the state government to immediately constitute a judicial panel of enquiry to investigate the killing of the two students.
NANS in a statement on Friday by its Zone D Coordinator, Adekitan Lukman, described the killings as unfortunate, adding that those found culpable must face the music.
The statement read in part, “We condemn in the strongest possible term the gruesome killings of the two students who lost their lives and pray to God to give the family of the departed the fortitude to bear the loss. We demand that Ekiti State government should take up all expenses of those injured and as well as compensate the family of the deceased.”
“We call on the state government to set up a judicial panel of enquiry to investigate the needless killings and barbaric show of force by the police and recommend appropriate sanctions as well as means of preventing future occurrence. We hope to get quick and favourable response on these demands within the next five working days.”
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