By Bamidele Ademola-Olateju
Politics is blood sport! Erelú Bisi Fayemi’s tour was about empowerment of women; young and old. Ekiti has one of the highest life expectancy in Nigeria. The poor old women of Ọyẹ́ Èkìtì were seated waiting for their food bank for the month, school girls waiting for their pads and beneficiaries of various trade equipments were there. We thought we had the day keyed until “Students” of the Federal Universities of Ọyẹ́ Èkìtì stormed the venue pelting hapless women with bottles, stones and sticks.
I saw plumes of tear gas from the “high table”. Panic rented the air. I thought about lives at risk in a gathering of over 1,000 women. How did we get to this point? We sniffed, our eyes watered. They pressed on! It was like I found myself in Gaza. We hurried out of the venue to meet 12 buses and personal cars vandalized, windscreens smashed and people covered in blood. Our MC got clobbered and passed out! Women were removing splinters of glass and bottle from their brazieres and wigs. I have never seen such a life threatening situation all my life.
They said they were protesting lack of electricity at the Federal University of Ọyẹ́. What has that got to do with a governor’s wife on a women empowerment tour?
Two policemen were abducted and beaten mercilessly. I am not sure if they wouldn’t be in critical condition. I am here wondering if the poor old women made it home safely with their heavy bags of food. Are these really students? If yes, is this how low we have sunk? If these are sponsored thugs posing as students, to what end?
It is shameful to visit this kind of violence on school girls, women in their 90’s and the rest of us. Even the wives of Kabiyesi ran through footpaths to the palace. I was baptized with fire today!
*Photo, article credit: Bamidele Ademola – Olateju