Ondo students flood Ode Irele, protest missing colleague

Hundreds of students of higher institutions of learning in Ondo State took to the streets of Ode Irele, the headquarters of Irele Local Government Area of the state, on Monday, to protest the missing of one of their colleagues, Gideon Akindoye.

Akindoye went missing on Monday, June 11, 2024, after going to his father’s farm located between Igbobini and Ode Irele communities. His whereabouts were yet unknown at the time of filing this report.

Our correspondent learnt that Gideon travelled home to meet his parents and later went to the farm with his motorcycle to harvest cassava but has yet to return home since then, raising suspicion that he must have been kidnapped on the farm.

During the protest, the students under the auspices of the National Association of Nigerian Students, called on the state governor, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, and the security agencies in the state to intervene and find the missing student.

Singing different solidarity songs, the students carried placards with various inscriptions such as, ‘Bring back Gideon dead or alive’, ‘Mr Governor, we need UR Help,’ ‘Akindoyo Gideon missing since 11th June 2024, Where is him?’, and ‘Gideon, where are you,’ among others.

Speaking during the protest, the Senate President of NANS, Comrade Henry Olukunomo, who believed the missing student was kidnapped, called on his abductors to release him dead or alive.

Olukunomo confirmed that the missing student was a bona fide 300-level student of Computer Engineering at Al-Hilmah University in Kwara State, contrary to a media report. He said the students union had enough documents, confirming the studentship of Gideon as a student of the university.

He said, “We are calling on those who kidnapped Comrade Gideon to release him to us, dead or alive. If he is dead, they should release his corpse to us to give him a befitting burial but if he is alive, they should release him to relieve his parents from unnecessary trauma.

“We have gathered here to solidarise with the people of Irele and Igbobini, and we are using this opportunity to call on the governor to end the lingering crisis between these two communities.”

The mother of the missing student, Mrs Janet Akindoyo, said the young man arrived Irele on Sunday, June 10, went to the farm to harvest the following day but he had not returned up to the time of filing this report.

“He has not returned, a search party saw his motorcycle where he parked it but we haven’t seen him. I’m appealing to the security and the people to help find him,” she pleaded.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs Funmilayo Odunlami, confirmed the missing student’s incident but said the men of the command had been in the forest in search of the missing student.

“Our men are working in the forest in search of the person and investigation into the matter has begun,” the PPRO stated.

Credit: Punch


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