Olatilewa Lautech

On February 23, 2016, three days after Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State opened for a new academic session, a student, Issa Olatilewa, never knew the awful fate that would befall him.

According to an eyewitness, Fawole Israel, on the said day, a "bloody" cult clash broke out at the Adenike area of the institution which claimed Olatilewa's life, while some other students were seriously injured.

Saturday PUNCH learned that the victim was also a senior member of the Man O' War in the school.

Since then, our correspondent learned that students who reside in the Adenike area of the school have been living in fear that the area has been turned into, a "den of cultists."

The crisis reportedly broke out around 7pm on the fateful day when two cult groups, identified to be the Alora and Aiye confraternities, started attacking themselves on the ever-busy street of the area.

That was when Olatilewa and his Man O' War colleagues, Aimashaun Damola, a 200 Level student of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Oluwagbemiga Adams, a 400 Level student of the Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, tried intervening in the fight.

Olatilewa was shot dead on the spot by one of the cultists with a pistol.

Adams, a Man O' War member, said another student, Damola Animashaun, was shot at the thigh.

He said, "My friends and I went out and while coming back, around 7pm, at a joint at the Adenike area, we saw some guys harassing a student. As Man O' War members, we defend student who cannot defend themselves. Before we knew it, one of the cultists slapped Olatilewa for intervening in the matter. I asked why he slapped my friend. Then he brought out a silver pistol and shot my friend on the chest. He died on the spot.

"There was another guy called Damola Animashahun who was shot and injured. I carried Olatilewa on my back and as we were going, we called on the school's security men to help us with the school van to move him to the hospital, but they were busy questioning us and told us the van was not available. We later got a motorcycle, but as we were transferring him to the teaching hospital, the school van joined and helped us.

"Immediately, some officials of the Students Union Government and the Chief-in-Commander of LAUTECH Man O' War came and we all moved down to the hideout of the cultists. Though it was dark, we could recognise one of them. We arrested them and they have confessed that they were the perpetrators.

"Our aim is to get rid of cultists from this institution. We cannot leave them to be disturbing the peace of the institution. It was the third time the cultists would kill in the public. We want justice for Olatilewa."

Saturday PUNCH learned that following the murder of Olatilewa, the students had protested and asked the school's management to put the necessary security measures in place.

Also demanding justice for Olatilewa, the leader of the school's Man O' War, Akinola Toheeb, said, "The stand of the organisation is that we want justice to be done. We can't fold our hands anymore because that was not the first time of cultists killing someone in the public."

Commenting on the issue, the General Secretary of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Oyo State chapter, Isa Farouk, called on the Federal Government and the two-owner state governments of LAUTECH, Oyo and Osun states, to come to the aid of the students.

The school's Dean of Students Affairs, Prof. Stephen Olabiyisi, said it had already notified the Commissioner of Police, Oyo State, about the issue, who had promised that no perpetrator would go scot-free as necessary measures would be put in place.

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