A total of 26 students from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) are presently receiving medical treatment in several hospitals in Ile-Ife, Osun State.
These students suffered varying degrees of injuries due to an explosion that originated from a nearby filling station and reached their hostel on Legere Road, near the school campus in Ile-Ife.
According to Sanusi Aderemi, a student present in the building during the incident, he narrowly escaped the explosion.
“We just heard this loud sound of an explosion and before we could say jack, fire started ravaging properties and burning students. Honestly, it was a pathetic experience. How I escaped, only God can explain, because all I knew was that I just found myself outside.”
In a telephone conversation with the Students Union President of the institution, Abbass Akinremi Ojo, he said the unfortunate incident occurred around 6:00 pm on Tuesday.
He added that many students are currently in pain, while the owner of the filling station is feeling unconcerned.
Ojo added that with the swift intervention of the NANS National Senate President, Akinteye Babatunde Afeez, the concerned filling station and two other annexes have been closed down.
“The area commander has just called me now, saying that he is on his way from Ibadan to meet with us. Either meeting or not, we have demands and none of the locked filling stations will be reopened if the owner who has gone into hiding since the incident occurred refuse to accede to our demands.
“The man who owns the filling station also owns the hostel; he must be responsible for the hospital bills because our students are still in the hospital. He must also refund our students their rent for the year because the house has been greatly damaged. Students pay him between N200,000 to N250,000 yearly and this is what they get ?
“Again, most of them lost their belongings, which means he must also pay for damages! We will stop at nothing to ensure justice for our affected students.” Ojo vowed.
When contacted, the Senate President of NANS promised to call back as he was in a meeting when our correspondent called him, but didn’t get back till press time.
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