First Lady of Ekiti State, Bisi Fayemi, has said that she did not instruct security officers to shoot at protesting students of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) on Tuesday.
Mrs Fayemi, in a statement on Wednesday, said she was “scandalised and shocked beyond words” to hear that she ordered security officers to open fire.
The protest which began peacefully was said to have been hijacked by hoodlums.
The first lady was in Oye local government in continuation of her community engagement and advocacy tour of the state.
She had commenced Tuesday’s tour from Moba local government and had visited Ilejemeje local government before arriving in Oye-Ekiti for the last leg of the tour.
But the students, however, had taken over major streets in the town, protesting against the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) over power outage in the area.
She said the protesting students tried to get into the civic centre where she was holding a town hall meeting with women in Oye LGA but were stopped by security officers.
Bisi added that after the programme they discovered that some vehicles in her convoy and those of her guests had been vandalised.
“I could see students/thugs throwing stones and large sticks at us as we drove by,” she said.
One person has been confirmed dead as a result of the fracas. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also said the first lady should be held responsible.
However, she said: “The casualties that were recorded did not take place while I was there. There are eye-witnesses, photographs and video footage to confirm this. There are reports circulating that the crisis occurred because I refused to address the protesting students. This is totally false. I did not encounter any group of students when I got to Oye town.
“I am scandalised and shocked beyond words to hear that I instructed security officers to shoot at students.
“I am deeply saddened that at least one fatality has been recorded. As a mother my heart bleeds. All these students are my children, and no mother prays to weep over their offspring. I extend my sincere condolences to the family concerned, and I wish those who are still receiving treatment a speedy recovery.
“The Obirinkete Tour has been suspended pending a review of what transpired yesterday. I thank friends and all members of the public who have expressed concern over this. God bless you all.”