OGUN, Nigeria – A female journalist reporting for the Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation (OGBC), Abeokuta, was on Saturday beaten blue and black by angry parents during the 11th convocation ceremony of Crescent University.
Crisis ensued when the journalist, Jumoke Onafowora, struggled with the parents to gain access into the convocation hall to perform her official duty.
Onafowora, who was a member of Ogun Deputy Governor’s Press Crew, was attacked as the unhappy parents tore her clothes; protesting their inability to enter a hall where their children were being convocated.
It is gathered that the management of Crescent University had denied parents access into the hall where graduands were seated; claiming the hall was mainly for graduating students and invited guests.
Angered by their inability to be with their children in the convocation hall, the parents, it was learnt, stood at the entrance, manned by stern-looking security personnel, to protest what they described as “poor arrangement” on the part of the university; they banged on the door, yelled and rained curses on the university for refusing them access into the convocation hall despite the huge amount of money they had been paying as school fees.
Recounting her ordeal, Onafowora said: “I was in the convoy of the Ogun Deputy Governor, Engr Naimot Salako-Oyedele, who was in Crescent University Abeokuta to represent Gov Dapo Abiodun at its convocation ceremony.
“I had initially entered the hall with the Deputy Governor before I later went out to fetch my recorder from the vehicle.
“When I was trying to go back into the hall, a mammoth crowd of angry parents were at the door. They all wanted to go into the hall by force. But the security men at the door told them to stay away. They were so furious, raining curses on the management of the university.
“Because of the nature of my job, I struggled to go back into the hall. I squeezed myself that I managed to get to the door. That was when they said who am I. They said they would not allow me to enter that hall if they couldn’t do so.
“I told them I was a journalist. I showed them my identity card, but they said ‘how will an ordinary journalist enter the convocation hall when they who paid millions of naira on our children are not allowed to go in?’
“The security men, who already saw my face before, tried to open the door for me. That was when these irate parents dragged my neck. They started beating me. They tore my clothes. I lost my necklace. I was injured with their finger nails. There was nobody to rescue me as my colleagues were all in the hall.
“I suffered. I was just so unfortunate because those people vented their anger on me. I suffered for the sins of Crescent University. Their security men didn’t do anything to assist me. Nobody to protect me. It’s sad.”
Some of the dignitaries at the convocation ceremony include the Proprietor/Founder of Crescent University, Justice Bola Ajibola; the Chancellor and Convocation Chairman, Alafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; the Pro-chancellor, Emir of Kazaure, Alhaji Najib Hussaini Adamu; the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ibraheem Gbajabiamila among others.