The Oyo State Government, has declared that it will do everything possible to secure justice for the late Barakat Bello, the 18-year-old student, who was raped and killed by yet-to-be-identified assailants.
The government stated this on Monday, while receiving protesting leaders and members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), who were led to the Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan by the president of the national body, Comrade Danielson Bamidele Akpan.
A statement signed by the Special Assistant (Print Media) to Governor Seyi Makinde, Moses Alao, indicated that the State's Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Seun Fakorede and the Special Assistant to the Governor on Students' Affairs, Victor Olojede, received the protesters on behalf of the Governor.
Fakorede, while addressing the students on behalf of the governor, described rape as a very condemnable act, stating that the state would bring the perpetrators to justice.
He maintained that as part of measures to bring the perpetrators to book and nip such dastardly acts in the bud, the State Government, in collaboration with the police, has swung into action, adding that the State House of Assembly has also begun to work on a law that will address such issues as rape.
He said: “All concerned institutions will deal with this seriously and I want to say that Oyo is one of the states that are leading and giving adequate direction as to how we are meant to handle all these things.
“Of course, this act is very condemnable and we deeply condemn it as a state. I can assure you that we will do everything to bring justice for Barakat. It will not only be for her but a whole lot of people that are victims of these unfortunate incidences."
“I salute you, NANS President, and everyone that is part of this entourage. I bring you the greetings of His Excellency, the indefatigable Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde."
He commended the students for doing things the right way, saying: "I am so happy when the NASS President made mention about the issue of Benin, Edo State, because truly, over the years, the youths have always been known to take advantage of opportunities like that to cause havoc. But it is a beautiful thing today that we have a new crop of leaders who are going to do what is expected of them and I am so glad that, today, the paradigm is shifting and changing critically and things are being restored to the way they are meant to be - the ideal situation."
“I am glad that we have decided to go the right way this time around to handle our things. So, once again, I want to say that I salute your doggedness. I salute your ideology. I salute the way you have decided to route this. And, of course, with the reception of this position by you, we will definitely make sure we do everything that is expected of us to do."
While speaking earlier, the NANS President, Akpan said that students from different parts of the country had converged on Ibadan to protest "the unfortunate killing, the dastardly act of the rapists who chose to go the other way by raping our students to death. And this we are doing as our own contribution to the sustenance of the society and of government because they say evil thrives when the good people quiet."
He extended NANS' condolences to the deceased Barakat's family, the Federal College of Animal Health and Production, the Oyo State Government and the people of the state over the losses of the students, calling on the Nigeria Police Force and other relevant authorities and enforcement agencies "to speed up the investigation process on those behind the dastardly act and bring them to book immediately."