Massive protests in community over relocation of institution
Commercial activities and movement were paralyzed for several hours on Saturday in Omuo-Ekiti while some people protested the alleged relocation of the Federal College of Education meant for the town to Ilawe Ekiti, Ekiti State.
It will be recalled that the Bill seeking for the establishment of the Federal College of Education Omuo-Ekiti, was sponsored by the Senator Representing Ekiti South senatorial district, Senator Biodun Olujimi and was passed by both chambers of the 9th National Assembly.
The protesters who consisted of youths, women and traditional rulers from Omuo Ekiti — from Ekiti East Local Government, trooped to the streets on Friday morning to protest the alleged injustice meted to them by relocating the FCE meant for the town to another community.
The protesters displayed placards such as: “On Omuo FCE we stand! No more! No less”; “This injustice must be redressed Return Our FCE back to us”; “Don’t rob Peter to pay Paul, FCE belong to Omuo Ekiti”, among others.
Travellers going to Abuja and those passing through the major highway in the town to Lagos, Ado Ekiti and the neighbouring Ondo State, had a tough time as the roads were barricaded.
Efforts by the Nigerian Police, the Directorate of State Service and the other security agencies drafted to maintain law and order to prevail on the angry protesters to allow a free flow of traffic, were rebuffed.
Earlier in the morning, the paramount ruler of the community, His Royal Majesty, Oba Noah Omonigbehin had directed that all markets, shops and other businesses must not open as a mark of protests for the alleged injustice brought on the community.
Addressing the protesters, a leader in the community, Chief Segun Akanle, appealed to President Bola Tinubu and the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Abiodun Oyebanji to come to the rescue of Omuo Ekiti by returning the Federal College of Education back to the town.
Akanle who described the citizens of the community as law-abiding, noted that Omuo Ekiti has been working for the establishment of the FCE for over ten years, adding that, a bill establishing the institution has been passed by both the 8th and 9th National Assembly and only awaiting presidential assent.
“We have 12 communities in Ekiti East and there is no federal or state presence in any of them. A bill establishing a College of Education has been passed and waiting for the president’s assent before the Ilawe people went through the backdoor to alter the location of the school.
“Why would the government establish two federal institutions in Ilawe and leave the remaining parts of the constituency? This is not acceptable. We have confidence in Tinubu to do the needful by righting the wrong and return the Federal College of Education to Omuo Ekiti where it rightly belongs.
He continued, “The Olomuo of Omuo Ekiti, Oba Noah Omonigbehin said he was a participant at the public hearings by the Senate leading to the establishment of the school in both the 8th and 9th session.
“We presented a memo to the August legislative assembly. We wonder how someone who has not asked for a thing would be given. I urge President Tinubu to correct this injustice and return the institution to Omuo Ekiti.”
Source: Daily Trust