On the 28 May 2017, Sunday night, Mr Abiodun Odude,the commisioner of police, Oyo State assured the Students’ Union President of University of Ibadan, Mr Ojo Aderemi, in a phone call that there will be casualties should the students go ahead with their plan to protest at the Iwo-Ojoo Road on 29 May 2017.
It was a two section of phone conversation. Mr Odude was reported to have said the Students’ Union will “pick dead bodies” if it mobilises students to demonstrate. Mr Aderemi, Students’ Union President however, called him again, at which time his words varied in no significantly. This second conversation, recorded by the Union President, lasted exactly one minute and twenty-four seconds.
“I am telling you in very clear terms and I want you to understand me. If you come out of that University of Ibadan tomorrow, I will deal with anybody that does that. If you want to protest, protest within your university. And if there is any damage to any government property, I will deal with you and I will be stern with you because you are the President of that union,” he asserted in an unmistakable tone.
“So go and warn your students – if they like their lives, none of them should come out of that school because I am ready for you o! If they want to waste their lives, let them come out. If any student comes out for protest tomorrow and blocks any road, I will deal with him. Tell them that you spoke to the Commissioner of Police and that is what he told you. I am not joking. And I will be there by myself, not that I will deploy men,” he further stated.
The statements from the Commissioner came immediately after a meeting between the Students’ Union Executives and the University Administration. It was reported that he had earlier requested that the Union President come to his residence for an unknown reason. Mr Ojo Aderemi had then called to apologise for his inability to visit the commissioner when the rude shocking statement hit him.
It will be recalled that students of the University of Ibadan held a Congress on Saturday, 27 May 2017, where they resolved to protest poor welfare on campus and an overdue provision of student identification cards by demonstrating to media houses and at Iwo-Ojoo Road on the National Democracy Day.