BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
There was commotion at Fakunle Comprehensive High School, Osogbo, capital of Osun State on Tuesday after some police officers reportedly fired teargas into the school premises thus leading to the hospitalisation of about 35 students of the school.
Some of the severely affected students were said to have collapsed and lost consciousness after inhaling the gas said to have been used by the police during morning drill in the area.
Located directly opposite the school is 39 Squadron Division of mobile policemen along Osogbo-Ikirun road where the morning drill reportedly took place.
The Point gathered that the students were inside their classrooms when the teargas attack occurred.
The teargas intensity was said to be very toxic in the area, a situation that reportedly made some students to faint while others ran out of their classrooms to a far distance to exhale the gas.
A source in the school explained, “When the teargas attack occurred, many of our students fainted and we took them to the hospital. Others ran out of the school premises to safer areas. We were forced to close the school for the day.”
The Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Education, Adelani Aderinola, through the Information Officer, Roseline Olawuni, said the mobile policemen were holding memorial exercise in honour of their fallen colleagues in Benue State when they used the teargas that affected the students.
“They were shooting teargas which affected the students in the school. However, the matter has been escalated to the Police Commissioner who ordered that the exercise should stop. The students have been taken to the hospital and most of them have been stabilised,” she said.
The Public Relations Officer of the Osun State Police Command, Yemisi Opalola said the police did not fire the teargas inside the school but that they were just using it for their drill.
“We have ordered them to stop the action. We are sorry for the inconvenience,” Opalola said.
The Head of Corporation Osun Ambulance Services, Mrs. Arowosafe Olayemi, explained, “We moved 11 patients to the Osun State University Teaching Hospital and the others were taken to Spring Hospital, very close to the school at Aderin, because before we got there, the school authority already took the students to a private hospital. You know we cannot just disagree with them because the lives of the students are so important to us.
“So, we have to agree with them. We moved the remaining students to Osun State University Teaching Hospital when the Spring Hospital was occupied. We have 11 at the Teaching Hospital and the remaining students are at Spring Hospital. In all, about 35 students were rushed to the hospitals according to the information given to us.”
“When I got to the school, I asked them to release the students to go home because the more they inhale the gas, the more the people were fainting, so, I told the principal to release the students to go home so that we can reduce the number of victims,” Olayemi explained.